Abstract Background Pancreatic cancer remains a significant therapeutic challenge and its poor prognosis has remained relatively unchanged for the past 40 years. Pancreatic tumours are highly desmoplastic and impenetrable lesions in which both gas and mass transfer is severely compromised. This leads to the development of hypoxia within the tumour and this compromises therapeutic approaches that rely on cytotoxic reactive oxygen species, e.g. photodynamic therapy, sonodynamic therapy and radiotherapy. Hypoxia also results in a relatively low pH within the tumour microenvironment. Here we describe a pH sensitive nanoparticle that can generate oxygen in the tumour and enhance ROS generating therapeutic approaches. Methods CaO2 NPs were generated by exposing to low frequency ultrasound and subsequently coated using a polymethacrylate polymer that becomes soluble at pH 6.4. For some studies, the sonosensitiser, Rose Bengal was attached to the particles. Oxygen generation in tumours (BxPC3) was demonstrated by inserting a dissolved oxygen probe into tumours following IV administration of particles. Particles were also employed together with photodynamic therapy (PDT) and sonodynamic therapy (SDT) using human xenograft and syngeneic pancreatic tumour models. In some cases, tumour tissues were recovered and analysed for tumour infiltrating immune cells using flow cytometry. Results Conclusions Coating CaO2 nanoparticles with a pH sensitive polymer provides in situ oxygen generation in tumours. Transient provision of oxygen enhances therapies that depend on the generation of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. When used with SDT, and using a bilateral syngeneic pancreatic tumour model, a powerful abscopal effect was observed and this was shown to be immune-mediated. The above data suggest that the particles may be exploited to enhance other therapies that depend on the generation of ROS, e.g. radiotherapy, and further suggest that the approach can be used to treat either local or disseminated forms of pancreatic cancer.