Modulation of tumor microenvironment using a TLR-7/8 agonist-loaded nanoparticle system that exerts low-temperature hyperthermia and immunotherapy for in situ cancer vaccination.


Department of Orthopedics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Hsinchu Branch, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC. Electronic address: [Email]


Most cancer vaccines under development are associated with defined tumor antigens rather than with all antigens of whole tumor cells, limiting the anti-tumor immune responses that they elicit. This work proposes an immunomodulator (R848)-loaded nanoparticle system (R848@NPs) that can absorb near-infrared light (+NIR) to cause low-temperature hyperthermia that interacts synergistically with its loaded R848 to relieve the tumor-mediated immunosuppressive microenvironment, generating robust anti-tumor memory immunity. In vitro results reveal that the R848@NPs could be effectively internalized by dendritic cells, causing their maturation and the subsequent regulation of their anti-tumor immune responses. Post-treatment observations in mice in which tumors were heat-treated at high temperatures reveal that tumor growth was significantly inhibited initially but not in the longer term, while low-temperature hyperthermia or immunotherapy alone simply delayed tumor growth. In contrast, a combined therapy that involved low-temperature hyperthermia and immunotherapy using R848@NPs/+NIR induced a long-lasting immunologic memory and consequently inhibited tumor growth and prevented cancer recurrence and metastasis. These results suggest that the method that is proposed herein is promising for generating cancer vaccines in situ, by using the tumor itself as the antigen source and the introduced R848@NPs/+NIR to generate a long-term anti-tumor immunity, for personalized immunotherapy.


Cancer vaccine,Combination immunotherapy,Hyperthermia,Photothermal therapy,TLR agonist,

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