Immunotherapeutic Transport Oncophysics: Space, Time, and Immune Activation in Cancer

Sara Nizzero, Haifa Shen, Mauro Ferrari, Bruna Corradetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Immuno-oncology has gained momentum thanks to the success of strategies aimed at enhancing immune-mediated antitumor response. The field of immunotherapeutic transport oncophysics investigates the physical processes that drive cancer immunotherapies. This review discusses three main aspects that determine the outcome of an immunotherapy-based treatment from a physical point of view; (i) space, the distribution of cancer and immune cells within tumor masses, (ii) time, the temporal dynamic of immune response against tumors, and (iii) activity, the ability of immune cell populations to suppress cancer. Upon introducing these topics with examples from the literature, we investigate in detail two cases where the interplay between space, time, and activation variables determines immune response: nanodendritic cell vaccines and immunosuppression in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • cancer
  • immuno-oncology
  • immunotherapy
  • physics of cancer
  • transport oncophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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