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Intratumoral therapies, especially Toll-like receptor agonists, can trigger both the innate and adaptive immune systems. BO-112 is a nanoplexed form of polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) that induces local and systemic immunotherapeutic effects in mouse models. In a multicenter phase 1 clinical trial, repeated intratumoral administrations of BO-112 induced an increase in tumor cell necrosis and apoptosis, as well as augmented immune reactivity according to gene expression profiling. The first three cohorts receiving BO-112 as a monotherapy resulted in a recommended dose of 1 mg that could be safely repeated. Two grade 3 to 4 adverse reactions in the form of reversible thrombocytopenia were reported. In a fourth cohort of 28 patients with tumors that had primary resistance to anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), the combination of intratumoral BO-112 with nivolumab or pembrolizumab was also well tolerated, and 3 patients (2 with melanoma and 1 with renal cell carcinoma) achieved partial responses, with 10 more patients having stable disease at 8 to 12 weeks. Thus, local BO-112 combined with a systemic anti-PD-1 agent might be a strategy to revert anti-PD-1 resistance.

Original publication




Journal article


Science translational medicine

Publication Date





Medical Oncology Department, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón and CIBERONC, Madrid 28007, Spain.


Animals, Humans, Mice, Melanoma, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Kidney Neoplasms, Poly I, Nivolumab