Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 11, pp 5769–5786 | Cite as

Polymer nanoparticles as adjuvants in cancer immunotherapy

  • Shengxian Li
  • Xiangru Feng
  • Jixue Wang
  • Liang He
  • Chunxi Wang
  • Jianxun DingEmail author
  • Xuesi Chen
Review Article


Immunotherapy is a promising strategy to inhibit cancer progression via activation of the immune system. In immunotherapy, adjuvants as immunologic stimulants or delivery systems play a critical role in inducing the antitumor immune response and decreasing the side effects of immune stimulants. Polymer nanoparticles have attracted increasing attention as an indispensable component of immunotherapy, owing to their favorable properties, such as excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, flexible size, high activity as immune stimulants, large surface area for binding multivalent immune ligands, and high loading capacity for immune-related components. In cancer immunotherapy, polymer nanoparticles can protect cargo from the surrounding milieu, deliver the antigens and immunostimulatory molecules to antigen-presenting cells, or stimulate robust T cell response. This review summarizes the current advancements in polymer nanoparticle adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy and predicts their prospects in fundamental and clinical studies.


polymer nanoparticle adjuvant drug delivery immunotherapy cancer treatment 


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This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51673190, 51603204, 51673187, 51773083, 51503076, and 51520105004) and the Science and Technology Development Program of Jilin Province (Nos. 20160204015SF and 20160204018SF).


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shengxian Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiangru Feng
    • 1
  • Jixue Wang
    • 2
  • Liang He
    • 2
  • Chunxi Wang
    • 2
  • Jianxun Ding
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xuesi Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Polymer Ecomaterials, Changchun Institute of Applied ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesChangchunChina
  2. 2.Department of UrologyThe First Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunChina

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