John Garner

PEG-PLGA from PolySciTech used as part of development of combined cancer immunotherapy/phototherapy system

Blog Post created by John Garner on Oct 31, 2016

A promising therapy option for cancer treatment is immunotherapy, wherein the human immune system is aided in bypassing the various protective features cancer cells typically employ to prevent themselves from being targeted as ‘non-self’ cells. This system can be combined with conventional treatment techniques to develop a robust treatment system. Recently, researchers utilized mPEG-PLGA (PolyVivo Cat# AK010) from PolySciTech ( to generate a nanoparticle-based, combined phototherapy and immunotherapy system for treatment of cancer. This research holds promise for treatment of aggressive or drug-resistant cancers. Read more: Chen, Qian, Ligeng Xu, Chao Liang, Chao Wang, Rui Peng, and Zhuang Liu. "Photothermal therapy with immune-adjuvant nanoparticles together with checkpoint blockade for effective cancer immunotherapy." Nature Communications 7 (2016): 13193.


“A therapeutic strategy that can eliminate primary tumours, inhibit metastases, and prevent tumour relapses is developed herein by combining adjuvant nanoparticle-based photothermal therapy with checkpoint-blockade immunotherapy. Indocyanine green (ICG), a photothermal agent, and imiquimod (R837), a Toll-like-receptor-7 agonist, are co-encapsulated by poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA). The formed PLGA-ICG-R837 nanoparticles composed purely by three clinically approved components can be used for near-infrared laser-triggered photothermal ablation of primary tumours, generating tumour-associated antigens, which in the presence of R837-containing nanoparticles as the adjuvant can show vaccine-like functions. In combination with the checkpoint-blockade using anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA4), the generated immunological responses will be able to attack remaining tumour cells in mice, useful in metastasis inhibition, and may potentially be applicable for various types of tumour models. Furthermore, such strategy offers a strong immunological memory effect, which can provide protection against tumour rechallenging post elimination of their initial tumours.”


Chen, 2016 PEG-PLGA photothermal immune therapy cancer.png