A melanin-mediated cancer immunotherapy patch

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Science Immunology  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 17, eaan5692
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan5692

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Lighting up antitumor responses

Dendritic cell (DC)–based and whole tumor antigen vaccines have shown promise as cancer therapies but have been constrained by suboptimal antigen presentation and T cell activation. Ye et al. now demonstrate how a transdermal microneedle patch loaded with tumor lysate and melanin can lead to improved antitumor vaccine responses. They treated mice transdermally with a microneedle patch loaded with whole tumor lysate from B16F10 melanoma combined with melanin and exposed the patch to near-infrared light irradiation, which promoted heat generation by melanin and enhanced antigen uptake by DCs. This light-triggered heat response enhanced T cell migration and localized proinflammatory cytokine production and was effective at targeting both primary and distal secondary tumors.