American Chemical Society
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Combining Mechanical High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation with Chemotherapy for Augmentation of Anticancer Immune Responses

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-22, 19:23 authored by Chao Li, Yao Lu, Lili Cheng, Xiaoge Zhang, Jun Yue, Jie Liu
As a noninvasive therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) shows great potential in inducing anticancer immune responses. However, the overall anticancer efficacy of HIFU is still limited due to the rapid attenuation of ultrasound waves and inadequacy of ultrasound waves to spread to the whole tumor. Here, we combined HIFU with the ultrasound contrast agent/chemotherapeutic drug co-delivery nanodroplets to achieve synergistic enhancement of anticancer efficacy. Different from the widely used thermal HIFU irradiation, by which excessive heating would result in inactivation of immune stimulatory molecules, we used short acoustic pulses to trigger HIFU (mechanical HIFU, mHIFU) to improve anticancer immune responses. The nanodroplets displayed a mHIFU/glutathione (GSH)-dual responsive drug release property, and their cellular uptake efficacy and toxicity against cancer cells increased upon mHIFU irradiation. The generated immunogenic debris successfully induced the exposure of damage-associated molecular patterns on the cell surface for dendritic cells (DCs) maturation. In vivo experiments with tumor-bearing mice showed that the co-delivery nanodroplets in combination with mHIFU could effectively inhibit tumor growth by inducing immunogenic cell death, activating DCs maturation, and enhancing the effector T-cell infiltration within tumors. This work reveals that combined treatment with nanodroplets and mHIFU is a promising approach to eradicate tumors.