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Cationic Liposomes as Non-viral Vector for RNA Delivery in Cancer Immunotherapy

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 2 ]


Micaela T. Vitor, Patricia C. Bergami- Santos, Jose A.M. Barbuto and Lucimara G. de la Torre   Pages 99 - 110 ( 12 )


This review presents the current status in the use of liposomes as non-viral vector for nucleic acid delivery in cancer immunotherapy. Currently, cancer treatment uses surgery, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. The search for new strategies to improve the efficiency of conventional treatments is a challenge, and biological therapy has emerged as a promising technique. Immunotherapy is a branch of biological therapy that uses the body's immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. One immunotherapy approach is the activation of T lymphocytes from cancer patients by dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with tumor antigens. Among different antigens, mRNA coding the tumor antigens is advantageous due to its capability to be amplified from small amounts of tumor tissue, its safety because it is easily degraded without integrating into the host genome, and it does not need to cross the nuclear barrier to exert its biological activity. Nanotechnology is an approach to deliver tumor antigens into DCs. Specially; we review the use of nanoliposomes in the field of cancer therapy because cationic liposomes can be used as non-viral vectors for mRNA delivery. Aside from the promise of liposomes, the development of scalable processes and facilities to the use this individualized therapy is still a challenge. Thus, we also present the recent techniques used for liposome production. In this context, the integration between technological knowledge in the production of cationic liposomes and immunotherapy using mRNA may contribute to the development of new strategies for cancer therapy.


Cancer, dendritic cells, immunotherapy, liposomes, RNA, nanotechnology.


School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Materials and Bioprocess Engineering, University of Campinas (Unicamp), Av. Albert Einstein, 500, Campinas, SP, 13083-852, Brazil.

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