Escherichia coli adhesin protein-conjugated thermal responsive hybrid nanoparticles for photothermal and immunotherapy against cancer and its metastasis

J Immunother Cancer. 2021 Jul;9(7):e002666. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2021-002666.


Background: Advanced cancer therapy is targeted at primary tumors and also recurrent or metastatic cancers. Combinational cancer treatment has recently shown high efficiency against recurrent and metastatic cancers. In this study, we synthesized a thermal responsive hybrid nanoparticle (TRH) containing FimH, an immune stimulatory recombinant protein, for the induction of a combination of photothermal therapy (PTT) and immunotherapy against cancer and its metastasis.

Methods: The hybrid nanoparticle was incorporated with a near-infrared (NIR) absorbent, indocyanine green, and decorated with FimH on its surface to form F-TRH. F-TRH was evaluated for its anticancer and antimetastatic effects against CT-26 carcinoma in mice by combining PTT and immunotherapy.

Results: NIR laser irradiation elicited an elevation of temperature in F-TRH, which induced apoptosis in CT-26 carcinoma cells in vitro. In addition, F-TRH and NIR laser irradiation promoted photothermal-mediated therapeutic effects against CT-26 and 4T1 tumors in mice. The release of FimH from F-TRH in response to elevated temperature and apoptotic bodies of cancer cells via PTT elicited dendritic cell-mediated cancer antigen-specific T-cell responses, which subsequently inhibited the second challenge of CT-26 and 4T1 cell growth in the lung.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate the potential use of F-TRH for immuno-photothermal therapy against cancer and its recurrence and metastasis.

Keywords: adjuvants; dendritic cells; immunologic; immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Escherichia coli / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Photothermal Therapy / methods*


  • Adhesins, Escherichia coli