Cancer immunotherapy (CIT) that targets the tumor immune microenvironment is regarded as a revolutionary advancement in the fight against cancer. The success and failure of CIT are due to the complexity of the immunosuppressive microenvironment. Cancer nanomedicine is a potential adjuvant therapeutic strategy for immune-based combination therapy. Exosomes are natural nanomaterials that play a pivotal role in mediating intercellular communications and package delivery in the tumor microenvironment. They affect the immune response or the effectiveness of immunotherapy. In particular, exosomal PD-L1 promotes cancer progression and resistance to immunotherapy. Exosomes possess high bioavailability, biological stability, targeting specificity, low toxicity, and immune characteristics, which indicate their potential for cancer therapy. They can be engineered to act as effective cancer therapeutic tools that activate anti-tumor immune response and start immune surveillance. Researchers at the Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital introduce the role of exosomes in a tumor immune microenvironment, highlight the application of engineered exosomes to CIT, and discuss the challenges and prospects for clinical application.
Exosomes – powerful weapon for cancer nano-immunoengineering
Pi YN, Xia BR, Jin MZ, Jind WL, Lou G. (2021) Exosomes: powerful weapon for cancer nano-immunoengineering. Biochem Pharma [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]