Research ArticleCancer

Engineered probiotics for local tumor delivery of checkpoint blockade nanobodies

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Science Translational Medicine  12 Feb 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 530, eaax0876
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax0876

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Bacterial helpers to the rescue

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a promising and increasingly popular approach to cancer therapy. Unfortunately, they sometimes have severe immune-mediated side effects, which can be minimized by local delivery of immunotherapy to the tumors. To address this problem, Gurbatri et al. engineered a probiotic bacteria system to release nanobodies targeting the immune checkpoints. After the bacteria were injected into a tumor, they stimulated a systemic antitumor immune response, successfully attacking not only the injected tumor but also any others found in the body. They could also be engineered to express an immunostimulatory cytokine to further boost the antitumor response in less immunogenic tumors.

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