Theranostics 2019; 9(25):7889-7905. doi:10.7150/thno.38583 This issue


Advances in Engineering Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

Xiao Xu1#, Teng Li1#, Shiyang Shen1, Jinqiang Wang2,3, Peter Abdou2,3, Zhen Gu2,3✉, Ran Mo1✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Drug Discovery for Metabolic Diseases, Center of Advanced Pharmaceuticals and Biomaterials, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, China.
2. Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
3. Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, California NanoSystems Institute, and Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
#Equal contribution to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Xu X, Li T, Shen S, Wang J, Abdou P, Gu Z, Mo R. Advances in Engineering Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy. Theranostics 2019; 9(25):7889-7905. doi:10.7150/thno.38583. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Cancer immunotherapy aims to utilize the host immune system to kill cancer cells. Recent representative immunotherapies include T-cell transfer therapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, antibody-based immunomodulator therapies, such as immune checkpoint blockade therapy, and cytokine therapies. Recently developed therapies leveraging engineered cells for immunotherapy against cancers have been reported to enhance antitumor efficacy while reducing side effects. Such therapies range from biologically, chemically and physically -engineered cells to bioinspired and biomimetic nanomedicines. In this review, advances of engineering cells for cancer immunotherapy are summarized, and prospects of this field are discussed.

Keywords: Cell therapy, Drug delivery, Cancer immunotherapy, Cell engineering, Nanomedicine