Cancer immunotherapies using plant virus nanoparticles (PVNPs) have achieved considerable success in preclinical studies. PVNP based nanoplatforms can be endogenous immune adjuvants and act as nanocarriers that stabilize and deliver cancer antigens and exogenous immune adjuvants. Although they do not infect mammalian cells, PVNPs are viruses and they are variably recognized by pathogen pattern recognition receptors (PRR), activate innate immune cells including antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and increase the expression of costimulatory molecules. Novel immunotherapy strategies use them as in situ vaccines (ISV) that can effectively inhibit tumor growth after intratumoral administration and generate expanded systemic antitumor immunity. PVNPs combined with other tumor immunotherapeutic options and other modalities of oncotherapy can improve both local and systemic anti-tumor immune responses. While not yet in clinical trials in humans, there is accelerating interest and research of the potential of PVNPs for ISV immune therapy for cancer. Thus, antitumor efficacy of PVNPs by themselves, or loaded with soluble toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists and/or cancer antigens, will likely enter human trials over the next few years and potentially contribute to next-generation antitumor immune-based therapies.
Immunostimulatory reagent, Nanoparticles, Neoantigens, Pathogen-associated molecular patterns, Virus-like particle