Theranostics 2019; 9(19):5542-5557. doi:10.7150/thno.35343

Research Paper

Enhanced cancer therapy through synergetic photodynamic/immune checkpoint blockade mediated by a liposomal conjugate comprised of porphyrin and IDO inhibitor

Zeqian Huang*, Gaofei Wei*, Zishan Zeng, Yanjuan Huang, Liangfeng Huang, Yifeng Shen, Xiaoqi Sun, Congjun Xu, Chunshun Zhao

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, People's Republic of China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Cancer metastases is still a hurdle for good prognosis and live quality of breast cancer patients. Treatment strategies that can inhibit metastatic cancer while treating primary cancer are needed to improve the therapeutic effect of breast cancer.

Methods: In this study, a dual functional drug conjugate comprised of protoporphyrin IX and NLG919, a potent indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitor, is designed to combine photodynamic therapy and immune checkpoint blockade to achieve both primary tumor and distant metastases inhibition. Liposomal delivery is applied to improve the biocompatibility and tumor accumulation of the drug conjugate (PpIX-NLG@Lipo). A series of in vitro and in vivo experiments were carried out to examine the PDT effect and IDO inhibition activity of PpIX-NLG@Lipo, and subsequently evaluate its anti-tumor capability in the bilateral 4T1 tumor-bearing mice.

Results: The in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that PpIX-NLG@Lipo possess strong ability of ROS generation to damage cancer cells directly through PDT. Meanwhile, PpIX-NLG@ Lipo can induce immunogenic cell death to elicit the host immune system. Furthermore, PpIX-NLG@Lipo interferes the activity of IDO, which can amplify PDT-induced immune responses, leading to an increasing amount of CD8+ T lymphocytes infiltrated into tumor site, finally achieve both primary and distant tumor inhibition.

Conclusion: This work presents a novel conjugate approach to synergize photodynamic therapy and IDO blockade for enhanced cancer therapy through simultaneously inhibiting both primary and distant metastatic tumor.

Keywords: protoporphyrin Ⅸ, photodynamic therapy, indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase, checkpoint blockade, liposome

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How to cite this article:
Huang Z, Wei G, Zeng Z, Huang Y, Huang L, Shen Y, Sun X, Xu C, Zhao C. Enhanced cancer therapy through synergetic photodynamic/immune checkpoint blockade mediated by a liposomal conjugate comprised of porphyrin and IDO inhibitor. Theranostics 2019; 9(19):5542-5557. doi:10.7150/thno.35343. Available from http://www.thno.org/v09p5542.htm