Cancers (Dec 2019)

Nanoformulated Zoledronic Acid Boosts the Vδ2 T Cell Immunotherapeutic Potential in Colorectal Cancer

  • Daniele Di Mascolo,
  • Serena Varesano,
  • Roberto Benelli,
  • Hilaria Mollica,
  • Annalisa Salis,
  • Maria Raffaella Zocchi,
  • Paolo Decuzzi,
  • Alessandro Poggi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
p. 104


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Aminobisphosphonates, such as zoledronic acid (ZA), have shown potential in the treatment of different malignancies, including colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Yet, their clinical exploitation is limited by their high bone affinity and modest bioavailability. Here, ZA is encapsulated into the aqueous core of spherical polymeric nanoparticles (SPNs), whose size and architecture resemble that of biological vesicles. On Vδ2 T cells, derived from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and CRC patients, ZA-SPNs induce proliferation and trigger activation up to three orders of magnitude more efficiently than soluble ZA. These activated Vδ2 T cells kill CRC cells and tumor spheroids, and are able to migrate toward CRC cells in a microfluidic system. Notably, ZA-SPNs can also stimulate the proliferation of Vδ2 T cells from the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes of CRC patients and boost their cytotoxic activity against patients’ autologous tumor organoids. These data represent a first step toward the use of nanoformulated ZA for immunotherapy in CRC patients.