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[Editorial] Modulation of the inflammatory tumor microenvironment: a new approach for ...

Updated: Jul 12, 2021


The fight against cancer has lasted for several centuries, nevertheless, cancer is still one of the most common causes of death before age 70. According to the GLOBOCAN 2018, around 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths had been estimated in 2018 all over the world, indicating severe threats to public health. Fortunately, immunotherapy has exhibited great potential as a ‘game-changer’ for the cure of cancer by mobilizing the human natural defensive immune system, particularly the application of immune checkpoints (ICP) blockade. However, the overall response rate (ORR) of ICP-based immunotherapy is still unsatisfactory and the ICP blockade treatment is only limited with a small amount of responding patients. A large number of studies have focused on improving the therapeutic efficiency and overcoming the drawbacks of the ICP-based cancer immunotherapy, of which the synergistic combination therapy based on multifunctional nanocomposites stands out. Well-designed nanocomposites could integrate different therapeutic agents, for example, immunoadjuvant nanocarrier together with photothermal nanoagent, and be used for cancer abrogation. The combination therapy with ICP blockade and photothermal therapy (PTT) showed excellent therapeutic effect via unique synergistic mechanisms. Modulating the inflammatory tumor microenvironment (iTME) helps reduce the immunosuppression and realizes a TME-synergized ICP-based immunotherapy, which provides us a new approach to improve photothermal-synergized cancer immunotherapy.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy, immune checkpoints blockade, inflammatory tumor microenvironment, nanocomposite, photothermal therapy

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