Nanostar probes: A golden platform for Synergistic Immuno Photothermal Nanotherapy (SYMPHONY) for the treatment of metastatic cancer
The discovery of new treatments for cancer is imperative. Recently, we showed in a proof-of-concept study that SYnergistic IMmuno PHOtothermal NanotherapY (SYMPHONY) is a powerful treatment for metastatic bladder cancer and brain tumor in mouse models. Our work has recently demonstrated that combining immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitors and gold nanostar (AuNS) photothermal therapy (PTT) is more effective in killing primary tumors and activating the immune system to eradicate tumors at distant sites, than each individual treatment alone. When the tumor is being ablated via PTT in mice models, using low intensity heat from a near infrared laser, the dying tumor releases proteins that trigger the immune system to destroy remaining tumor cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors prevent the tumor cells from hiding from the immune system's mechanisms; thus, the immune system becomes capable of attacking distant secondary tumors, after the primary tumor has been eradicated using AuNS mediated PTT. The data shows that after the cured mice were rechallenged with bladder cancer cells, no tumor formation was observed after 60 days; hence these results indicate that the SYMPHONY treatment can function as a cancer vaccine and lead to long-lasting immunity.