Chemo-immunotherapy is a combination of “standard-of-care” chemotherapy with immunotherapy and it is considered the most advanced therapeutic modality for various types of cancers. However, many cancer patients still poorly respond to current regimen of chemo-immunotherapy and suggest nanotherapeutics as a boosting agent. Recently, heme oxygenase-1 (HO1) is shown to act as an immunotherapeutic molecule in tumor myeloid cells, in addition to general chemoresistance function in cancer cells suggesting that HO1-targeted therapeutics can become a novel, optimal strategy for boosting chemo-immunotherapy in the clinic. Currently the available HO1-inhibitors demonstrate serious adverse effects in clinical use. Herein, tumor myeloid cell- and cancer cell-dual targeted HO1-inhibiting lipid nanotherapeutic boost (T-iLNTB) is developed using RNAi-loaded lipid nanoparticles. T-iLNTB-mediated HO1-inhibition sensitizes cancer cells to “standard-of-care” chemotherapeutics by increasing immunogenic cell death, and directly reprograms tumor myeloid cells with distinguished phenotype. Furthermore, tumor myeloid cell reprogramming by T-iLNTB induces CD8+ cytotoxic T cell recruitment, which drives “Cold-to-Hot” transition and correlates with improved responsiveness to immune checkpoint inhibitor in combination therapy. Finally, ex vivo study proves that HO1-inhibition directly affects tumor macrophage differentiation. This study demonstrates the potential of T-iLNTB as a novel therapeutic modality for boosting chemo-immunotherapy.
- HO1-targeted nanotherapeutics
- cancer-targeted therapy
- ionizable lipid nanoparticle
- targeted lipid nanoparticle