Designer Nanomedicines for Cancer Immunotherapy

3/9/2020 15:55 - 16:30

Immunotherapy is a revolutionary approach in the treatment of cancer that, over the past decades, has transformed the landscape of cancer care. Immunotherapy is based on the premise that it is possible to mobilise the patient’s own immune system to destroy cancerous cells. Clinically, while the success has been miraculous and durable in positive responders, there are many cases where checkpoint blockade has failed leaving significant room for improvement. For instance, rationally targeting multiple check points, both stimulatory and inhibitory, within the tumour microenvironment may improve on the current response rate. However, the use of monoclonal antibodies precludes or seriously limits this possibility as they cannot be specifically targeted to the tumour and as such are linked to significant off target effects. Recent work from our lab seeks to develop a rationally formulated ‘genetic immunotherapy’ regime based on the co- delivery of siRNA to remove inhibitory check point molecules while simultaneously delivering pDNA/mRNA expressing stimulatory checkpoint molecules to the tumour environment. We have explored options to co-deliver immunogenic cell death drugs in combination with the aim of producing more potent cancer cell therapeutics and vaccination strategies.

Professor Khuloud Al-Jamal, Chair of Drug Delivery & Nanomedicine, King’s College London