Novel Immunotherapy to Treat Ovarian and Other Cancers (2267)

Ability to tailorProgrammableWorks with any therapeutic or diagnostic cargo
  • Ability to tailor
  • Programmable
  • Works with any therapeutic or diagnostic cargo

Abstract

Background

Ovarian cancer is the most deadly gynecologic malignancy. The American Cancer Society estimates 19,880 new diagnoses and 12,810 deaths in 2022. Approximately, 80% of individuals are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease with a 5-year survival of only 40%. Patients with advanced ovarian cancer are treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel), which has been the standard treatment for almost 30 years. Clearly, new and effective treatment options are needed. Unfortunately, the most effective new therapy for many other solid tumors, checkpoint inhibitors like pembrolizumab, have demonstrated little benefit in ovarian cancer.

Technology Overview

This is a novel technology, macrophage-derived engineered vesicles (MEVs), to both deliver chemotherapy directly to cancer cells and convert M2 tumor-associated macrophages to M1 macrophages, sensitizing cancer to immunotherapy. Recent evidence shows that endogenous extracellular vesicles (EEVs) from pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1) can alter anti-inflammatory macrophages, shifting them from M2 to M1 polarization. While EEVs are being evaluated as potential immunotherapies, low yields and complex separation procedures pose significant barriers to their use. These MEVs are a potential strategy that maintains the desirable properties of EEVs while overcoming feasibility challenges. The inventors have demonstrated that MEVs can reprogram M2 (tumor-associated macrophages) to a proinflammatory (anti-cancer) phenotype. In-vivo studies in xenograft mouse models showed that the MEVs exhibit cancer specificity and targeting.

Advantages

  • Can be tailored to different sizes
  • Loaded with virtually any therapeutic or diagnostic cargo
  • Programmable with different surface components related to specific cell types including patient specific cancers
  • Overcomes major limitations of CAR-T therapies, which in some cases may target both cancerous and normal B cells
  • Other immunotherapies that target PD-1 (for example) can be prone to off-target adverse effects

Potential Applications

  • Treatment of ovarian cancer
  • Treatment of lunch and colon cancers

Contact Information

Name: Marketing Contact

Email: techinquiries@uky.edu

Phone: (859) 257-2149