Cancer Immunotherapy Elicited by Immunogenic Cell Death Based on Smart Nanomaterials

Mengyao Yang, Cheng Zhang, Rui Wang, Xiaofeng Wu, Haidong Li, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Cancer immunotherapy has been a revolutionary cancer treatment modality because it can not only eliminate primary tumors but also prevent metastases and recurrent tumors. Immunogenic cell death (ICD) induced by various treatment modalities, including chemotherapy, phototherapy, and radiotherapy, converts dead cancer cells into therapeutic vaccines, eliciting a systemic antigen-specific antitumor. However, the outcome effect of cancer immunotherapy induced by ICD has been limited due to the low accumulation efficiency of ICD inducers in the tumor site and concomitant damage to normal tissues. The boom in smart nanomaterials is conducive to overcoming these hurdles owing to their virtues of good stability, targeted lesion site, high bioavailability, on-demand release, and good biocompatibility. Herein, the design of targeted nanomaterials, various ICD inducers, and the applications of nanomaterials responsive to different stimuli, including pH, enzymes, reactive oxygen species, or dual responses are summarized. Furthermore, the prospect and challenges are briefly outlined to provide reference and inspiration for designing novel smart nanomaterials for immunotherapy induced by ICD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2201381
JournalSmall Methods
Issue number5
StatePublished - 19 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.Y. and C.Z. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by grants from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2022R1A2C3005420, J.Y.), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nos. DUT22RC(3)025 and DUT22LAB601, H.L.). M.Y. thanks the China Scholarship Council (CSC, No. 201904910820).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • immunogenic cell death
  • immunotherapy
  • nanomaterials
  • stimulus responses
  • targeting tumor


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