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HIF-1 inhibitor-based one-stone-two-birds strategy for enhanced cancer chemodynamic-immunotherapy.

Based on its ability to induce strong immunogenic cell death (ICD), chemodynamic therapy (CDT) was elaborately designed to combine with immunotherapy for a synergistic anticancer effect. However, hypoxic cancer cells can adaptively regulate hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) pathways, leading to a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-homeostatic and immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Consequently, both ROS-dependent CDT efficacy and immunotherapy are largely diminished, further lowering their synergy. Here, a liposomal nanoformulation co-delivering a Fenton catalyst copper oleate and a HIF-1 inhibitor acriflavine (ACF) was reported for breast cancer treatment. Through in vitro and in vivo experiments, copper oleate-initiated CDT was proven to be reinforced by ACF through HIF-1-glutathione pathway inhibition, thus amplifying ICD for better immunotherapeutic outcomes. Meanwhile, ACF as an immunoadjuvant significantly reduced the levels of lactate and adenosine, and downregulated the expression of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1), thereby promoting the antitumor immune response in a CDT-independent manner. Hence, the "one stone" ACF was fully taken advantage of to enhance CDT and immunotherapy (two birds), both of which contributed to a better therapeutic outcome.

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