Dendritic cells play a central role in antigen presentation and generation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response required for anticancer vaccination. The review focuses on use of particulate carriers like lipid and polymeric nanoparticles for targeting tumor antigens to the dendritic cells. The role of various physicochemical parameters of nanocarriers such as size, surface charge in passive targeting is detailed. Utilization of different ligands such as mannose, Fc receptor, CD11c/CD 18, DEC-205 and DC-SIGN on DC for active targeting is reviewed. Smart nanocarriers such as pH sensitive nanocarriers, pre forming liposomes, cell penetrating peptide containing systems and virosomes that can specifically increase the CTL response generating greater antitumor immunity have also been discussed.
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