Academic Talk: Delivery of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Improving Cancer Immunotherapy


Presenter: Dr. Chao Wang, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill 

Topic: Delivery of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Improving Cancer Immunotherapy

Time: 1000 AM, July 24th (Monday)

Location: 909-B



Cancer immunotherapy has recently received tremendous attentions. The immune checkpoint blockage (ICB) is among these developments that has achieved a significant increase in survival in clinical trials. Despite these advancements, emerging research at an interdisciplinary interface of cancer biology, immunology, bioengineering and materials science is important to further enhance the therapeutic benefits and reduce side effects. In our work, we have developed a microneedle patch and platelet-based delivery system for target delivery of immune checkpoint inhibitors to the tumor microenvironment for enhancing cancer immunotherapy. We first developed an innovative self-degradable microneedle (MN) patch for the sustained delivery of anti-PD-1 in a physiologically controllable manner. We find that a single administration of the MN patch induces robust immune responses in a B16F10 mouse melanoma model compared to intratumoral injection of free anti-PD-1 with the same dose. Next, inspired by the intrinsic properties of platelets, we conjugated anti-PD-L1 to the surface of platelets for use as a preventative treatment for post-surgical tumour recurrence. Anti-PD-L1 was effectively released after platelet activation, thereby blocking PDL1 on tumour and APCs. Our results show that platelets have promise as a means of targeted, controlled delivery of anti-PD-L1 for the prevention of cancer recurrence post surgery.



Chao Wang received his Ph.D. degree from Soochow University in 2014. He is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. His current research focuses include development of drug delivery systems for cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Wang has authored over 70 peer-reviewed papers, which have received a total citation of > 5,500 times and given him an H-index at 41 (Google Scholar).


Contact: Prof. Zhuang Liu