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Multimodal Multiplexed Immunoimaging with Nanostars to Detect Multiple Immunomarkers and Monitor Response to Immunotherapies.

Ou YC, Wen X, Johnson CA, Shae D, Ayala OD, Webb JA, Lin EC, DeLapp RC, Boyd KL, Richmond A, Mahadevan-Jansen A, Rafat M, Wilson JT, Balko JM, Tantawy MN, Vilgelm AE, Bardhan R
ACS Nano. 2020 14 (1): 651-663

PMID: 31851488 · DOI:10.1021/acsnano.9b07326

The overexpression of immunomarker programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and engagement of PD-1 to its ligand, PD-L1, are involved in the functional impairment of cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8) T cells, contributing to cancer progression. However, heterogeneities in PD-L1 expression and variabilities in biopsy-based assays render current approaches inaccurate in predicting PD-L1 status. Therefore, PD-L1 screening alone is not predictive of patient response to treatment, which motivates us to simultaneously detect multiple immunomarkers engaged in immune modulation. Here, we have developed multimodal probes, immunoactive gold nanostars (IGNs), that accurately detect PD-L1 tumor cells and CD8 T cells simultaneously , surpassing the limitations of current immunoimaging techniques. IGNs integrate the whole-body imaging of positron emission tomography with high sensitivity and multiplexing of Raman spectroscopy, enabling the dynamic tracking of both immunomarkers. IGNs also monitor response to immunotherapies in mice treated with combinatorial PD-L1 and CD137 agonists and distinguish responders from those nonresponsive to treatment. Our results showed a multifunctional nanoscale probe with capabilities that cannot be achieved with either modality alone, allowing multiplexed immunologic tumor profiling critical for predicting early response to immunotherapies.

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