Liposomal phytohemagglutinin: In vivo T-cell activator as a novel pan-cancer immunotherapy

Kinan Alhallak, Jennifer Sun, Barbara Muz, Amanda Jeske, Julie O’Neal, Julie K. Ritchey, Samuel Achilefu, John F. DiPersio, Abdel Kareem Azab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immunotherapy is an attractive approach for treating cancer. T-cell engagers (TCEs) are a type of immunotherapy that are highly efficacious; however, they are challenged by weak T-cell activation and short persistence. Therefore, alternative solutions to induce greater activation and persistence of T cells during TCE immunotherapy is needed. Methods to activate T cells include the use of lectins, such as phytohemagglutinin (PHA). PHA has not been used to activate T cells in vivo, for immunotherapy, due to its biological instability and toxicity. An approach to overcome the limitations of PHA while also preserving its function is needed. In this study, we report a liposomal PHA which increased PHA stability, reduced toxicity and performed as an immunotherapeutic that is able to activate T cells for the use in future cancer immunotherapies to circumvent current obstacles in immunosuppression and T-cell exhaustion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-944
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • immunotherapy
  • nanoparticles
  • T-cell activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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