Nanoparticle therapy for head and neck cancers

Current opinion in oncology, 2022 · Hoffmann C, Shen C, Le Tourneau C


Caroline Hoffmann1, Colette Shen, Christophe Le Tourneau

1 – Department of Head and Neck Surgery, INSERM U932 Research Unit, Institut Curie, Paris Sciences Lettres (PSL) University, Paris, France Department of Radiation Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA Department of Drug Development, and Innovation (D3i), Paris & Saint-Cloud, INSERM U900 Research Unit, Institut Curie, Paris-Saclay University, Paris, France


Purpose of review: The current review focuses on the therapeutic use of nanoparticles in head and neck cancer (HNC), highlighting nanoparticles at the most advanced clinical development stages.

Recent findings: Literature review covers the three main approaches for therapeutic use of nanoparticles in HNC: first, enhancing radiotherapy effect; second, performing targeted delivery of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or genome editing molecules; third, photothermal therapy.

Summary: Nanoparticles are spherical nanoscale objects that have application in cancer therapies. Nanoparticles have diverse and often composite structure composition to ensure their function, increase their bioavailability in tumor tissues, and decrease off-target effects, sometimes by means of activating internal or external stimuli. Hafnium oxide nanoparticles are being tested in phase I to III trials for radiotherapy enhancement. Nanoparticle-based delivery of paclitaxel, cisplatin, and of the immune activator CpG-A DNA is being evaluated in phase II trials. No nanoparticle is currently approved for HNC treatment.

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