ARTICLE | Distillery Therapeutics


January 3, 2017 11:04 PM UTC

Mouse studies suggest a photo-activated imiquimod-loaded nanoparticle could help treat cancer. The nanoparticle consisted of poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) loaded with indocyanine green, a dye that generates tumor cell-killing heat when exposed to near-infrared (NIR) radiation, and the generic TLR7 agonist imiquimod that enhances host immune cell responses to antigens released from lysed tumor cells. In a mouse model of breast cancer, the imiquimod-loaded nanoparticles plus NIR laser irradiation decreased tumor growth and increased dendritic cell (DC) maturation compared with unloaded nanoparticles. In mouse models of breast and colorectal cancers, the combination of imiquimod-loaded nanoparticles, NIR irradiation and an anti-CTLA4 antibody decreased tumor growth compared with the nanoparticles plus irradiation or unloaded nanoparticles plus the anti-CTLA4 antibody. In two mouse models of metastatic breast cancer, the combination of imiquimod-loaded nanoparticles, NIR irradiation and the anti-CTLA4 antibody decreased metastasis in the lungs and breast and increased survival. Next steps could include testing the combination therapy in additional cancer models...