Nano-enabled pancreas cancer immunotherapy using immunogenic cell death and reversing immunosuppression

Jianqin Lu, Xiangsheng Liu, Yu Pei Liao, Felix Salazar, Bingbing Sun, Wen Jiang, Chong Hyun Chang, Jinhong Jiang, Xiang Wang, Anna M. Wu, Huan Meng, Andre E. Nel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


While chemotherapy delivery by nanocarriers has modestly improved the survival prospects of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), additional engagement of the immune response could be game changing. We demonstrate a nano-enabled approach for accomplishing robust anti-PDAC immunity in syngeneic mice through the induction of immunogenic cell death (ICD) as well as interfering in the immunosuppressive indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway. This is accomplished by conjugating the IDO inhibitor, indoximod (IND), to a phospholipid that allows prodrug self-Assembly into nanovesicles or incorporation into a lipid bilayer that encapsulates mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNP). The porous MSNP interior allows contemporaneous delivery of the ICD-inducing chemotherapeutic agent, oxaliplatin (OX). The nanovesicles plus free OX or OX/IND-MSNP induce effective innate and adaptive anti-PDAC immunity when used in a vaccination approach, direct tumor injection or intravenous biodistribution to an orthotopic PDAC site. Significant tumor reduction or eradication is accomplishable by recruiting cytotoxic T lymphocytes, concomitant with downregulation of Foxp3+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1811
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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