Nanomedicine-mediated Reprogramming of Tumor Immunogenicity




Lara, Emilio

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and has a major impact on our society. Melanoma is listed as one of the top leading cancers in men and women and was expected to account for 6,850 cancer deaths in 2020. Many treatment options exist but are accompanied with adverse side effects that can halt treatments. Immune checkpoint therapy is a novel approach in our fight against cancer and one that earned James P. Allison and Tasuko Honjo the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. While immune checkpoint therapy has proven effective in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, this success has been limited to a small fraction of patients. The reason for low response rates is thought to be due to tumor intrinsic factors that alter the tumor microenvironment and allow tumor cells to evade destruction by dysregulating T cell function. The goal of this research was to investigate the utilization of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanoparticle-assisted photothermal therapy (PEDOT NP-PTT) for ablation of B16-F10 melanoma cells in order to evaluate their ability to convert nonimmunogenic tumors to immunogenic ones that will respond to immune checkpoint therapy. To accomplish these goals, the following objectives were pursued: preparation and characterization of nanoparticles, demonstration of the therapeutic effect of PEDOT NP-PTT, evaluation of the induction of immunogenic cell death following treatment, and evaluation of the extent of dendritic cell activation upon PTT through an in vitro assay.



nanomedicine, cancer, dendritic cells, melanoma cancer cells, photothermal therapy


Lara, E. (2021). Nanomedicine-mediated reprogramming of tumor immunogenicity (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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