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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  • RE: Engineered probiotics for local tumor delivery of checkpoint blockade nanobodies
    • Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu CQS MRSNZ, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with very keen interest the article by Gurbatri et al. (1) and titled “Engineered probiotics for local tumor delivery of checkpoint blockade nanobodies”.

    Immune checkpoint inhibitors have indeed revolutionised anti-cancer therapeutic strategies with the targeting of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein-4 (CTLA-4) continuing to demonstrate promising results.

    Although combination therapies utilising both anti-PD-L1/PD-1 with anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) together have clearly demonstrated more efficacious responses when compared with the utility of single therapies, the associated higher toxicity levels observed remain of concern.

    This work sought to exploit the attraction and preference of bacteria for tumours, as a means of developing and testing a more natural cancer therapeutic delivery system using microbes.

    Of particular interest were the studies referred to that highlighted the preferential and selective bacterial colonization within tumours, when the bacteria was administered systemically, in addition to the finding of widespread prevalence of unharmful bacteria existing within malignant tissues (2) – (8).

    Using an intratumoural probiotic bacterial delivery system for the controlled production and intratumoural release of blocking nanobodies able to target PD-L1 and CTLA-4, together with computational modelling and lysis circuit dynamics, the...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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