The combination of gene therapy and immunotherapy concepts, along recent advances in DNA nanotechnology, have the potential to provide important tools for cancer therapies. We present the development of stimuli-responsive microcapsules, loaded with a viral immunogenetic agent, harnessing the immune response against the Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19, to selectively attack liver cancer cells (hepatoma) or recognize breast cancer or hepatoma, by expression of green fluorescence protein, GFP. The pH-responsive microcapsules, modified with DNA-tetrahedra nanostructures, increased hepatoma permeation by 50 %. Incorporation of a GFP-encoding lentivirus vector inside the tumor-targeting pH-stimulated miRNA-triggered and Alpha-fetoprotein-dictated microcapsules enables the demonstration of neoplasm selectivity, with approximately 5,000-, 8,000- and 50,000-fold more expression in the cancerous cells, respectively. The incorporation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the gene vector promotes specific recognition of the immune-evading hepatoma by the COVID-19-analogous immune response, which leads to cytotoxic and inflammatory activity, mediated by serum components taken from vaccinated or recovered COVID-19 patients, resulting in effective elimination of the hepatoma (>85 % yield).
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© 2023 The Authors. Angewandte Chemie International Edition published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.