Immune Netw.  2022 Oct;22(5):e42. 10.4110/in.2022.22.e42.

Efficient Anti-Tumor Immunotherapy Using Tumor Epitope-Coated Biodegradable Nanoparticles Combined With Polyinosinic-Polycytidylic Acid and an Anti-PD1 Monoclonal Antibody

  • 1Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea
  • 2Center for Convergence Bioceramic Materials, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, Cheongju 28160, Korea
  • 3Research and Development Division, ViGenCell Inc., Seoul 06591, Korea
  • 4Department of Pharmacy, Korea University College of Pharmacy, Sejong 30019, Korea
  • 5Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Sahmyook University, Seoul 01795, Korea


Vaccination with tumor peptide epitopes associated with MHC class I molecules is an attractive approach directed at inducing tumor-specific CTLs. However, challenges remain in improving the therapeutic efficacy of peptide epitope vaccines, including the low immunogenicity of peptide epitopes and insufficient stimulation of innate immune components in vivo. To overcome this, we aimed to develop and test an innovative strategy that elicits potent CTL responses against tumor epitopes. The essential feature of this strategy is vaccination using tumor epitope-loaded nanoparticles (NPs) in combination with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly-IC) and anti-PD1 mAb. Carboxylated NPs were prepared using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and poly(ethylene/maleic anhydride), covalently conjugated with anti-H-2K b mAbs, and then attached to H-2K b molecules isolated from the tumor mass (H-2 b ). Native peptides associated with the H-2K b molecules of H-2K b -attached NPs were exchanged with tumor peptide epitopes. Tumor peptide epitope-loaded NPs efficiently induced tumor-specific CTLs when used to immunize tumor-bearing mice as well as normal mice. This activity of the NPs significantly was increased when co-administered with poly-IC. Accordingly, the NPs exerted significant anti-tumor effects in mice implanted with EG7-OVA thymoma or B16-F10 melanoma, and the anti-tumor activity of the NPs was significantly increased when applied in combination with poly-IC. The most potent anti-tumor activity was observed when the NPs were co-administered with both poly-IC and anti-PD1 mAb. Immunization with tumor epitope-loaded NPs in combination with poly-IC and anti-PD1 mAb in tumor-bearing mice can be a powerful means to induce tumor-specific CTLs with therapeutic anti-tumor activity.


Anti-PD1 monoclonal antibody; Cytotoxic T lymphocytes; Immunotherapy; Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid; Tumor epitope nanoparticles; Tumor peptide epitopes
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