Intratumoral delivery of IL-12 and IL-27 mRNA using lipid nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society(2022)

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Cytokines are important immunotherapeutics with approved drugs for the treatment of human cancers. However, systemic administration of cytokines often fails to achieve adequate concentrations to immune cells in tumors due to dose-limiting toxicity. Thus, developing localized therapy that directly delivers immune-stimulatory cytokines to tumors may improve the therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we generated novel lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) encapsulated with mRNAs encoding cytokines including IL-12, IL-27 and GM-CSF, and tested their anti-tumor activity. We first synthesized ionizable lipid materials containing di-amino groups with various head groups (DALs). The novel DAL4-LNP effectively delivered different mRNAs in vitro to tumor cells and in vivo to tumors. Intratumoral injection of DAL4-LNP loaded with IL-12 mRNA was most potent in inhibiting B16F10 melanoma tumor growth compared to IL-27 or GM-CSF mRNAs in monotherapy. Furthermore, intratumoral injection of dual DAL4-LNP-IL-12 mRNA and IL-27 mRNA showed a synergistic effect in suppressing tumor growth without causing systematic toxicity. Most importantly, intratumoral delivery of IL-12 and IL-27 mRNAs induced robust infiltration of immune effector cells, including IFN-γ and TNF-α producing NK and CD8+ T cells into tumors. Thus, intratumoral administration of DAL-LNP loaded with IL-12 and IL-27 mRNA provides a new treatment strategy for cancer.
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