Peptides that immunoactivate the tumor microenvironment

Natsuki Furukawa, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cancer immunotherapy has achieved positive clinical outcomes and is revolutionizing cancer treatment. However, cancer immunotherapy has thus far failed to improve outcomes for most “cold tumors”, which are characterized by low infiltration of immune cells and immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Enhancing the responsiveness of cold tumors to cancer immunotherapy by stimulating the components of the tumor microenvironment is a strategy pursued in the last decade. Currently, most of the agents used to modify the tumor microenvironment are small molecules or antibodies. Small molecules exhibit low affinity and specificity towards the target and antibodies have shortcomings such as poor tissue penetration and high production cost. Peptides may overcome these drawbacks and therefore are promising materials for immunomodulating agents. Here we systematically summarize the currently developed immunoactivating peptides and discuss the potential of peptide therapeutics in cancer immunology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188486
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Immuno-oncology
  • Immunomodulation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Therapeutic peptides
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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