An inhalable nanoparticulate STING agonist synergizes with radiotherapy to confer long-term control of lung metastases

Yang Liu, William N. Crowe, Lulu Wang, Yong Lu, W. Jeffrey Petty, Amyn A. Habib, Dawen Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mounting evidence suggests that the tumor microenvironment is profoundly immunosuppressive. Thus, mitigating tumor immunosuppression is crucial for inducing sustained antitumor immunity. Whereas previous studies involved intratumoral injection, we report here an inhalable nanoparticle-immunotherapy system targeting pulmonary antigen presenting cells (APCs) to enhance anticancer immunity against lung metastases. Inhalation of phosphatidylserine coated liposome loaded with STING agonist cyclic guanosine monophosphate–adenosine monophosphate (NP-cGAMP) in mouse models of lung metastases enables rapid distribution of NP-cGAMP to both lungs and subsequent uptake by APCs without causing immunopathology. NP-cGAMP designed for enhanced cytosolic release of cGAMP stimulates STING signaling and type I interferons production in APCs, resulting in the pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironment in multifocal lung metastases. Furthermore, fractionated radiation delivered to one tumor-bearing lung synergizes with inhaled NP-cGAMP, eliciting systemic anticancer immunity, controlling metastases in both lungs, and conferring long-term survival in mice with lung metastases and with repeated tumor challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5108
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this