Radiotherapy combined with nano-biomaterials for cancer radio-immunotherapy

J Nanobiotechnology. 2023 Oct 30;21(1):395. doi: 10.1186/s12951-023-02152-2.


Radiotherapy (RT) plays an important role in tumor therapy due to its noninvasiveness and wide adaptation. In recent years, radiation therapy has been discovered to induce an anti-tumor immune response, which arouses widespread concern among scientists and clinicians. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the applications of nano-biomaterials for radiotherapy-activated immunotherapy. We first discuss the combination of different radiosensitizing nano-biomaterials and immune checkpoint inhibitors to enhance tumor immune response and improve radiotherapy efficacy. Subsequently, various nano-biomaterials-enabled tumor oxygenation strategies are introduced to alleviate the hypoxic tumor environment and amplify the immunomodulatory effect. With the aid of nano-vaccines and adjuvants, radiotherapy refreshes the host's immune system. Additionally, ionizing radiation responsive nano-biomaterials raise innate immunity-mediated anti-tumor immunity. At last, we summarize the rapid development of immune modulatable nano-biomaterials and discuss the key challenge in the development of nano-biomaterials for tumor radio-immunotherapy. Understanding the nano-biomaterials-assisted radio-immunotherapy will maximize the benefits of clinical radiotherapy and immunotherapy and facilitate the development of new combinational therapy modality.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Nano-biomaterials; Radio-immunotherapy; Radiotherapy; Tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms* / radiotherapy


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic