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Nanotechnology and immunotherapy in ovarian cancer: tracing new landscapes.


Ovarian cancer (OC) is the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide. Standard therapeutic treatments involve debulking surgery combined with platinum-based chemotherapies. Of the patients with advanced stage cancer that initially respond to current treatments 50%-75% relapse. Immunotherapy-based approaches aimed at boosting anti-tumor immunity have recently emerged as promising tools to challenge tumor progression. Treatments with inhibitors of immune checkpoint molecules have shown impressive results in other types of tumors. However, only 15% of checkpoint inhibitors evaluated have proven successful in OC due to the immunosuppressive environment of the tumor and the transport barriers. This limits the efficacy of the existing immunotherapies. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems hold the potential to overcome such limitations. Various nanoformulations including polymeric, liposomes, and lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles have already been proposed to improve the biodistribution and targeting-capabilities of drugs against tumor-associated immune cells, including dendritic cells and macrophages. In this review, we examine the impact of immuno-therapeutic approaches that are currently under consideration for the treatment of OC. In this review we also provide a comprehensive analysis of the existing nanoparticle-based synthetic strategies, their limitations and advantages over standard treatments. Furthermore, we discuss how the strength of the combination of nanotechnology with immunotherapy may help to, overcome the current therapeutic limitations associated with their individual application and unravel a new paradigm in the treatment of this malignancy. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.