Emerging biomaterial-based strategies for personalized therapeutic in situ cancer vaccines

Dixita Ishani Viswanath, Hsuan Chen Liu, David P. Huston, Corrine Ying Xuan Chua, Alessandro Grattoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Landmark successes in oncoimmunology have led to development of therapeutics boosting the host immune system to eradicate local and distant tumors with impactful tumor reduction in a subset of patients. However, current immunotherapy modalities often demonstrate limited success when involving immunologically cold tumors and solid tumors. Here, we describe the role of various biomaterials to formulate cancer vaccines as a form of cancer immunotherapy, seeking to utilize the host immune system to activate and expand tumor-specific T cells. Biomaterial-based cancer vaccines enhance the cancer-immunity cycle by harnessing cellular recruitment and activation against tumor-specific antigens. In this review, we discuss biomaterial-based vaccine strategies to induce lymphocytic responses necessary to mediate anti-tumor immunity. We focus on strategies that selectively attract dendritic cells via immunostimulatory gradients, activate them against presented tumor-specific antigens, and induce effective cross-presentation to T cells in secondary lymphoid organs, thereby generating immunity. We posit that personalized cancer vaccines are promising targets to generate long-term systemic immunity against patient- and tumor-specific antigens to ensure long-term cancer remission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121297
Pages (from-to)121297
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Biomaterials
  • Cancer vaccine
  • In situ delivery
  • Local controlled release
  • Oncoimmunotherapy
  • Biocompatible Materials/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Vaccines/therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Antigens, Neoplasm/therapeutic use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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