Formulation and Quality – Biomolecular
End-to-End Hot Topic
The advent of cancer immunotherapy has begun to show new promise for cancer therapeutics. Unlike traditional chemo, radiation therapy, or tumor targeting antibody-based approaches, immunotherapy relies on the patient’s immune system to fight against cancer. This is accomplished either through stimulating the body’s own immune system or through using components of the immune system. This represents a paradigm shift not only in how cancer is treated, but in how we think of drug delivery systems for putting these therapeutics at the site of action. The types of immunotherapy treatments currently used are either monoclonal antibodies or check point inhibitors. Antibodies can be designed to attack cancer cells directly while check point inhibitors work indirectly by triggering the immune system to recognize and fight against cancer cells. Due to these new mechanistic aspects, emerging future modalities for cancer immunotherapy will involve drug delivery tools and nanoparticles that can target the immune system.
Nanoparticle technologies for oncology and tumor targeting, although in research for over 20 years and some of them in active clinical trials in the last decade, have only recently been looked at differently for their utility towards immunotherapy. In the nanomedicine approach, nanoparticles may positively influence the immune system in destructing the tumor rather than targeting the tumor tissues locally. Utilizing the intrinsic properties of nanoparticles for immune targeting as opposed to targeting the tumor can bring about a positive difference in the efficacy due to the underlying complex cancer mechanisms that can potentially overlap with the heterogeneous biodistribution of nanoparticles towards improving the acquired and innate immune responses. Furthermore, monotherapy or combinations of antibody mediated check point blockade inhibitors or small molecules in a nanoparticle format, can be effectively utilized in harnessing the immune system.
In this talk, we will discuss the challenges and successes of ‘traditional’ cancer antibody-based therapeutics & antibody drug conjugates that must target tumor associated antigens (TAAs) for efficacy and the drug delivery systems under pre-clinical and clinical evaluation to improve their efficacy. Additionally, drug delivery systems for immunotherapy will also be discussed including immune targeting nanoparticles. New modalities such as mRNA delivery will also be discussed.