Nanomedicine-based strategies to target and modulate the tumor microenvironment

Trends Cancer. 2021 Sep;7(9):847-862. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2021.05.001. Epub 2021 Jun 3.


The interest in nanomedicine for cancer theranostics has grown significantly over the past few decades. However, these nanomedicines need to overcome several physiological barriers intrinsic to the tumor microenvironment (TME) before reaching their target. Intrinsic tumor genetic/phenotypic variations, along with intratumor heterogeneity, provide different cues to each cancer type, making each patient with cancer unique. This brings additional challenges in translating nanotechnology-based systems into clinically reliable therapies. To develop efficient therapeutic strategies, it is important to understand the dynamic interactions between TME players and the complex mechanisms involved, because they constitute invaluable targets to dismantle tumor progression. In this review, we discuss the latest nanotechnology-based strategies for cancer diagnosis and therapy as well as the potential targets for the design of future anticancer nanomedicines.

Trial registration: NCT04283461.

Keywords: modulation; nanotechnology; targeting, therapy; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine*
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Precision Medicine
  • Tumor Microenvironment

Associated data