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Nanoparticle-enhanced chemo-immunotherapy to trigger robust antitumor immunity

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Science Advances  28 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 35, eabc3646
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc3646


Mounting evidence suggests that immunotherapies are a promising new class of anticancer therapies. However, the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), poor immunogenicity, and off-target toxicity hinder the broader implementation of immunotherapies. Here, we describe a novel strategy combining chemotherapy and immunotherapy to modulate the TME by systemically and concurrently delivering the chemotherapeutic agent SN38 (7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin) and the STING agonist DMXAA (5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid) into tumors using triblock copolymer nanoparticles, named PS3D1@DMXAA, which enhances antigen cross-presentation and induces the conversion of the immunosuppressive TME to immunogenic TME through the newly found synergistic function between SN38 and STING activation. PS3D1@DMXAA thus shows potent therapeutic efficacy in three mice tumor models and elicits remarkable therapeutic benefit when combined with anti–PD-1 therapy. Our engineered nanosystem offers a rational design of an effective immunotherapy combination regimen to convert uninflamed “cold” tumors into “hot” tumors, addressing the major challenges immunotherapies faced.

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