Hyaluronidase with pH-responsive Dextran Modification as an Adjuvant Nanomedicine for Enhanced Photodynamic- Immunotherapy of Cancer
Hairong Wang1,2, Xiao Han1, Ziliang Dong1, Jun Xu1, Jian Wang2, and Zhuang Liu*1
1Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM) & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
2Children’s Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
The condensed tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) consisting of cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of key factors that results in the aberrant tumor microenvironment (TME) and the resistance to various types of therapies. Herein, hyaluronidase (HAase) is modified by a biocompatible polymer, dextran (DEX), via a pH-responsive traceless linker. The formulated DEX-HAase nanoparticles show enhanced enzyme stability, reduced immunogenicity, and prolonged blood half-life after intravenous injection. With efficient tumor passive accumulation, DEX-HAase within the acidic TME would be dissociated to release native HAase, which afterward triggers the breakdown of HA to loosen the ECM structure, subsequently leading to enhanced penetration of oxygen and other therapeutic agents. The largely relieved tumor hypoxia would promote the therapeutic effect of nanoparticle-based photodynamic therapy (PDT), accompanied by the reverse of the immunosuppressive TME to boost cancer immunotherapy. Interestingly, the therapeutic responses achieved by the combination of PDT and anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (anti-PD-L1) checkpoint blockade therapy could be significantly enhanced by pretreatment with DEX-HAase. In addition to destructing tumors with direct light exposure, a robust abscopal effect is achieved after such treatment, which is promising for tumor metastasis inhibition. The work presents a new type of adjuvant nanomedicine to assist photodynamic immunotherapy of cancer, by effective modulation of TME.