Dual-functional plga nanoparticles co-loaded with indocyanine green and resiquimod for prostate cancer treatment

Wenfeng Lin, Chaoming Li, Naijin Xu, Masami Watanabe, Ruizhi Xue, Abai Xu, Motoo Araki, Ruifen Sun, Chunxiao Liu, Yasutomo Nasu, Peng Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: With the advance of screening techniques, there is a growing number of low-risk or intermediate-risk prostate cancer (PCa) cases, remaining a serious threat to men’s health. To obtain better efficacy, a growing interest has been attracted to develop such emerging treatments as immunotherapy and focal therapy. However, few studies offer guidance on whether and how to combine these modalities against PCa. This study was designed to develop dual-functional nanoparticles (NPs) which combined photothermal therapy (PTT) with immunotherapy and determine the anti-tumor efficacy for PCa treatment. Methods: By a double emulsion technique, the drug nanocarrier, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) or PLGA, was applied for co-loading of a fluorescent dye, indocyanine green (ICG) and a toll-like receptor 7/8 (TLR7/8) agonist resiquimod (R848) to synthesize PLGA-ICG-R848 NPs. Next, we determined their characteristic features and evaluated whether they inhibited the cell viability in multiple PCa cell lines. After treatment with PLGA-ICG-R848, the maturation markers of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were detected by flow cytometry. By establishing a subcutaneous xenograft model of mouse PCa, we explored both the anti-tumor effect and immune response following the NPs-based laser ablation. Results: With a mean diameter of 157.7 nm, PLGA-ICG-R848 exhibited no cytotoxic effect in PCa cells, but they significantly decreased RM9 cell viability to (3.9±1.0)% after laser irradiation. Moreover, PLGA-ICG-R848 promoted BMDCs maturation with the significantly elevated proportions of CD11c+CD86+ and CD11c+CD80+ cells. Following PLGA-ICG-R848-based laser ablation in vivo, the decreased bioluminescent signals indicated a significant inhibition of PCa growth, while the ratio of splenic natural killer (NK) cells in PLGA-ICG-R848 was (3.96±1.88)% compared with (0.99±0.10)% in PBS group, revealing the enhanced immune response against PCa. Conclusion: The dual-functional PLGA-ICG-R848 NPs under laser irradiation exhibit the anti-tumor efficacy for PCa treatment by combining PTT with immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2775-2787
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Immunotherapy
  • Indocyanine green
  • PLGA
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Resiquimod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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