Immune checkpoint blockade reaches remarkable clinical responses. However, even in the most favorable cases, half of these patients do not benefit from these therapies in the long term. It is hypothesized that the activation of host immunity by co-delivering peptide antigens, adjuvants, and regulators of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β expression using a polyoxazoline (POx)-poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) nanovaccine, while modulating the tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) function within the tumor microenvironment (TME) and blocking the anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) can constitute an alternative approach for cancer immunotherapy. POx-Mannose (Man) nanovaccines generate antigen-specific T-cell responses that control tumor growth to a higher extent than poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-Man nanovaccines. This anti-tumor effect induced by the POx-Man nanovaccines is mediated by a CD8+-T cell-dependent mechanism, in contrast to the PEG-Man nanovaccines. POx-Man nanovaccine combines with pexidartinib, a modulator of the TAM function, restricts the MC38 tumor growth, and synergizes with PD-1 blockade, controlling MC38 and CT26 tumor growth and survival. This data is further validated in the highly aggressive and poorly immunogenic B16F10 melanoma mouse model. Therefore, the synergistic anti-tumor effect induced by the combination of nanovaccines with the inhibition of both TAM- and PD-1-inducing immunosuppression, holds great potential for improving immunotherapy outcomes in solid cancer patients.
- tumor immune microenvironment
- tumor-associated macrophages