Biomimetic nanoscale metal–organic framework harnesses hypoxia for effective cancer radiotherapy and immunotherapy†
Tumor hypoxia presents a major impediment to effective cancer therapy with ionizing radiation and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Here we report the design of a biomimetic nanoscale metal–organic-framework (nMOF), Hf-DBP-Fe, with catalase-like activity to decompose elevated levels of H2O2 in hypoxic tumors to generate oxygen and hydroxyl radical. The generated oxygen attenuates hypoxia to enable radiodynamic therapy upon X-ray irradiation and fixes DNA damage while hydroxyl radical inflicts direct damage to tumor cells to afford chemodynamic therapy. Hf-DBP-Fe thus mediates effective local therapy of hypoxic cancer with low-dose X-ray irradiation, leading to highly immunogenic tumor microenvironments for synergistic combination with anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade. This combination treatment not only eradicates primary tumors but also rejects distant tumors through systemic anti-tumor immunity. We have thus advanced an nMOF-based strategy to harness hypoxic tumor microenvironments for highly effective cancer therapy using a synergistic combination of low dose radiation and immune checkpoint blockade.