Abstract: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is difficult to treat effectively, due to its aggressiveness, drug resistance, and lack of the receptors required for hormonal therapy, particularly at the metastatic stage. Here, we report the development and evaluation of a multifunctional nanoparticle formulation containing an iron oxide core that can deliver doxorubicin, a cytotoxic agent, and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly IC), a TLR3 agonist, in a targeted and simultaneous fashion to both breast cancer and dendritic cells. Endoglin-binding peptide (EBP) is used to target both TNBC cells and vasculature endothelium. The nanoparticle demonstrates favorable physicochemical properties and a tumor-specific targeting profile. The nanoparticle induces tumor apoptosis through multiple mechanisms including direct tumor cell killing, dendritic cell-initiated innate and T cell-mediated adaptive immune responses. The nanoparticle markedly inhibits tumor growth and metastasis and substantially extends survival in an aggressive and drug-resistant metastatic mouse model of TNBC. This study points to a promising platform that may substantially improve the therapeutic efficacy for treating metastatic TNBC.

Iron oxide nanoparticle targeted chemo-immunotherapy for triple negative breast cancer
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.08.002