Biomaterials and Nanotechnology for Drug and Vaccine Development
B.S. University of California, Berkeley (Biomedical Engineering)
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego (Bioengineering)
Many favorable anticancer treatments owe their success to the induction immunogenic cell death (ICD) in cancer cells, which results in the release of endogenous danger signals along with tumor antigens for effective priming of anticancer immunity. We describe a strategy to artificially induce ICD by delivering the agonist of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) into tumor cells using hollow polymeric nanoshells. Following intracellular delivery of exogenous adjuvant, subsequent cytotoxic treatment creates immunogenic cellular debris that spatiotemporally coordinate tumor antigens and STING agonist in a process herein termed synthetic immunogenic cell death (sICD). sICD is indiscriminate to the type of chemotherapeutics and enables colocalization of exogenously administered immunologic adjuvants and tumor antigens for enhanced antigen presentation and anticancer adaptive response. In three mouse tumor models, sICD enhances therapeutic efficacy and restrains tumor progression. The study highlights the benefit of delivering STING agonists to cancer cells, paving ways to new chemo-immunotherapeutic designs.