Mol Pharm 2018 09 12;15(9):3717-3722. Epub 2018 Apr 12.
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth , Hanover , New Hampshire 03755 , United States.
The presence and benefit of a radiation therapy-associated immune reaction is of great interest as the overall interest in cancer immunotherapy expands. The pathological assessment of irradiated tumors rarely demonstrates consistent immune or inflammatory response. More recent information, primarily associated with the "abscopal effect", suggests a subtle radiation-based systemic immune response may be more common and have more therapeutic potential than previously believed. However, to be of consistent value, the immune stimulatory potential of radiation therapy (RT) will clearly need to be supported by combination with other immunotherapy efforts. In this study, using a spontaneous canine oral melanoma model, we have assessed the efficacy and tumor immunopathology of two nanotechnology-based immune adjuvants combined with RT. The immune adjuvants were administered intratumorally, in an approach termed "in situ vaccination", that puts immunostimulatory reagents into a recognized tumor and utilizes the endogenous antigens in the tumor as the antigens in the antigen/adjuvant combination that constitutes a vaccine. The radiation treatment consisted of a local 6 × 6 Gy tumor regimen given over a 12 day period. The immune adjuvants were a plant-based virus-like nanoparticle (VLP) and a 110 nm diameter magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (mNPH) that was activated with an alternating magnetic field (AMF) to produce moderate heat (43 °C/60 min). The RT was used alone or combined with one or both adjuvants. The VLP (4 × 200 μg) and mNPH (2 × 7.5 mg/gram tumor) were delivered intratumorally respectively during the RT regimen. All patients received a diagnostic biopsy and CT-based 3-D radiation treatment plan prior to initiating therapy. Patients were assessed clinically 14-21 days post-treatment, monthly for 3 months following treatment, and bimonthly, thereafter. Immunohistopathologic assessment of the tumors was performed before and 14-21 days following treatment. Results suggest that addition of VLPs and/or mNPH to a hypofractionated radiation regimen increases the immune cell infiltration in the tumor, extends the tumor control interval, and has important systemic therapeutic potential.