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Research Article

Revolutionary impact of nanovaccines on immunotherapy


Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi ,

Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Hélder A. Santos

Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Over the past few decades public health has been immensely improved by preventing various types of diseases using vaccination, a method implying attenuated, killed or part of a microorganism to activate the immune system against it. Recently, nanovaccines have attracted a lot of attention as a new approach for enhancing the immune responses against immunogenic molecules. A wide variety of nanomaterials are reported as proper candidates for nanovaccination. Currently, the focus is the development of new formulations that trigger strong anti-cancer responses by presenting tumor antigens either directly to T immune cells or indirectly to antigen-presenting cells, holding great promise for safe, non-invasive, and cost-effective therapy of cancer. This review focuses on the critical aspects in the design of biomaterial based nanovaccines and reviews the state of the art of the formulations in clinical development and those currently available in the market.

Focal points

•   Bedside

Understanding the complex potential of the immune system to prevent and treat various diseases such as cancer, will contribute to the scientific advance in the development of new therapeutic strategies and will allow for the discovery of alternative treatments for deadly diseases.

•   Benchside

Many of the immunostimulative pathways involved in the suppression of cancer tumor growth have been identified and additional research is still needed to recognize the molecular mechanisms of the immunotherapeutic strategies.

•   Industry

The discovery of new non-toxic immunotherapeutic compounds may pave the way towards developing new cancer tumor therapeutic approaches. A major effort in the identification of preventing approaches is also needed to develop preventive nanoformulations for healthy people who are at the risk of cancer.

•   Community

The treatment of cancer by cheap, efficient and as less invasive as possible methodologies will have a great impact on the quality of life of the patients.

•   Governments

Since the development of anticancer nanoformulations needs extensive support from the authorities for success in clinical translation, the financial investments of the governments is necessary to translate the research in the lab to the bedside. The governmental support can also increase the years of healthy life of the patients and minimize the associated costs overtime.


How to Cite: Shahbazi, M.-A. & Santos, H.A., (2014). Revolutionary impact of nanovaccines on immunotherapy. New Horizons in Translational Medicine. 2(2), pp.44–50. DOI:
Published on 18 Nov 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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