Immune checkpoint blockade therapy (ICT) is not a new concept as far as cancer treatment is concerned. Scientists have previously explored it and even identified its potential treatment for a variety of tumors. Unfortunately, the results have so far indicated a poor response rate that has not really supported continued applications in the past.
What if there was a better approach to ICT that could yield better and more favorable results? The idea behind ICT is to inhibit the growth of a variety of tumors successfully. A team of researchers from the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) has proposed a hybrid approach that combines ICT with innovative immune cocktail therapy and a few other treatment options.
Venturing into cocktail therapy
The cocktail therapy that the CIAC researchers are proposing has so far demonstrated significant ability to boost the cancer immunity cycle through the nano-delivery system. The results of the study on the cocktail therapy were published in the Science Advances journal in September.
Researchers managed to achieve anti-tumor treatment using the proposed cocktail therapy through a combination of immune checkpoint blockade, immunogenic chemotherapy, and also extracellular matrix elimination. The cocktail therapy features two gene delivery and responsive drug nanoparticles responsive to the tumor microenvironment (TME). The nanoparticles specifically deliver doxorubicin and plasmids in the form of hairpin RNA that consists of hyaluronidase and PD-L1. These target the tumor and its surrounding area, thus resulting in superior therapeutic outcomes.
The research findings also state that the cocktail therapy also enables T-cell priming through the polarization of an immunosuppressive TME into the immune-active phenotype and inducing the death of tumor immunogenic cells. The researchers observed impressive immunotherapeutic outcomes against different types of tumors.
The cocktail therapy approach used by CIAC researchers demonstrates the sustainable and favorable results that have previously been missing in previous ICT-based approaches. The results provide a strong basis for pursuing cocktail therapy through ICT since the approach overcomes the previous hurdles that made ICT less appealing as a potential direction for cancer treatment. The research also shows that ICT could soon be one of the mainstream approaches to treating cancer.