Thermal immuno-nanomedicine in cancer

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2023 Feb;20(2):116-134. doi: 10.1038/s41571-022-00717-y. Epub 2023 Jan 5.


Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of patients with cancer. However, promoting antitumour immunity in patients with tumours that are resistant to these therapies remains a challenge. Thermal therapies provide a promising immune-adjuvant strategy for use with immunotherapy, mostly owing to the capacity to reprogramme the tumour microenvironment through induction of immunogenic cell death, which also promotes the recruitment of endogenous immune cells. Thus, thermal immunotherapeutic strategies for various cancers are an area of considerable research interest. In this Review, we describe the role of the various thermal therapies and provide an update on attempts to combine these with immunotherapies in clinical trials. We also provide an overview of the preclinical development of various thermal immuno-nanomedicines, which are capable of combining thermal therapies with various immunotherapy strategies in a single therapeutic platform. Finally, we discuss the challenges associated with the clinical translation of thermal immuno-nanomedicines and emphasize the importance of multidisciplinary and inter-professional collaboration to facilitate the optimal translation of this technology from bench to bedside.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nanomedicine
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Tumor Microenvironment