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Endosomolytic polymersomes increase the activity of cyclic dinucleotide STING agonists to enhance cancer immunotherapy


Shae DDaniel , Becker KWKyle W , Christov PPlamen , Yun DSDong Soo , Lytton-Jean AKRAbigail K R , Sevimli SSema , Ascano MManuel , Kelley MMark , Johnson DBDouglas B , Balko JMJustin M , Wilson JTJohn T . Nature nanotechnology. 2019 01 21; 14(3). 269-278


Cyclic dinucleotide (CDN) agonists of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) are a promising class of immunotherapeutics that activate innate immunity to increase tumour immunogenicity. However, the efficacy of CDNs is limited by drug delivery barriers, including poor cellular targeting, rapid clearance and inefficient transport to the cytosol where STING is localized. Here, we describe STING-activating nanoparticles (STING-NPs)-rationally designed polymersomes for enhanced cytosolic delivery of the endogenous CDN ligand for STING, 2’3′ cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP). STING-NPs increase the biological potency of cGAMP, enhance STING signalling in the tumour microenvironment and sentinel lymph node, and convert immunosuppressive tumours to immunogenic, tumoricidal microenvironments. This leads to enhanced therapeutic efficacy of cGAMP, inhibition of tumour growth, increased rates of long-term survival, improved response to immune checkpoint blockade and induction of immunological memory that protects against tumour rechallenge. We validate STING-NPs in freshly isolated human melanoma tissue, highlighting their potential to improve clinical outcomes of immunotherapy.