Combined PD-1 blockade and GITR triggering induce a potent antitumor immunity in murine cancer models and synergizes with chemotherapeutic drugs.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The coinhibitory receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) inhibits effector functions of activated T cells and prevents autoimmunity, however, cancer hijack this pathway to escape from immune attack. The costimulatory receptor glucocorticoid-induced TNFR related protein (GITR) is up-regulated on activated T cells and increases their proliferation, activation and cytokine production. We hypothesize that concomitant PD-1 blockade and GITR triggering would synergistically improve the effector functions of tumor-infiltrating T cells and increase the antitumor immunity. In present study, we evaluated the antitumor effects and mechanisms of combined PD-1 blockade and GITR triggering in a clinically highly relevant murine ID8 ovarian cancer model. METHODS: Mice with 7 days-established peritoneal ID8 ovarian cancer were treated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with either control, anti-PD-1, anti-GITR or anti-PD-1/GITR monoclonal antibody (mAb) and their survival was evaluated; the phenotype and function of tumor-associated immune cells in peritoneal cavity of treated mice was analyzed by flow cytometry, and systemic antigen-specific immune response was evaluated by ELISA and cytotoxicity assay. RESULTS: Combined anti-PD-1/GITR mAb treatment remarkably inhibited peritoneal ID8 tumor growth with 20% of mice tumor free 90 days after tumor challenge while treatment with either anti-PD-1 or anti-GITR mAb alone exhibited little antitumor effect. The durable antitumor effect was associated with a memory immune response and conferred by CD4? cells and CD8? T cells. The treatment of anti-PD-1/GITR mAb increased the frequencies of interferon-?-producing effector T cells and decreased immunosuppressive regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, shifting an immunosuppressive tumor milieu to an immunostimulatory state in peritoneal cavity. In addition, combined treatment of anti-PD-1/GITR mAb mounted an antigen-specific immune response as evidenced by antigen-specific IFN-? production and cytolytic activity of spleen cells from treated mice. More importantly, combined treatment of anti-PD-1/GITR mAb and chemotherapeutic drugs (cisplatin or paclitaxel) further increased the antitumor efficacy with 80% of mice obtaining tumor-free long-term survival in murine ID8 ovarian cancer and 4 T1 breast cancer models. CONCLUSIONS: Combined anti-PD-1/GITR mAb treatment induces a potent antitumor immunity, which can be further promoted by chemotherapeutic drugs. A combined strategy of anti-PD-1/GITR mAb plus cisplatin or paclitaxel should be considered translation into clinic.
Project description:The co-inhibitory receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) curtails immune responses and prevent autoimmunity, however, tumors exploit this pathway to escape from immune destruction. The co-stimulatory receptor OX40 is upregulated on T cells following activation and increases their clonal expansion, survival and cytokine production when engaged. Although antagonistic anti-PD-1 or agonistic anti-OX40 antibodies can promote the rejection of several murine tumors, some poorly immunogenic tumors were refractory to this treatment. In the present study, we evaluated the antitumor effects and mechanisms of combinatorial PD-1 blockade and OX40 triggering in a murine ID8 ovarian cancer model. Although individual anti-PD-1 or OX40 mAb treatment was ineffective in tumor protection against 10-day established ID8 tumor, combined anti-PD-1/OX40 mAb treatment markedly inhibited tumor outgrowth with 60% of mice tumor free 90 days after tumor inoculation. Tumor protection was associated with a systemic immune response with memory and antigen specificity and required CD4(+) cells and CD8(+) T cells. The anti-PD-1/OX40 mAb treatment increased CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells and decreased immunosuppressive CD4(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells and CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) myeloid suppressor cells (MDSC), giving rise to significantly higher ratios of both effector CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells to Treg and MDSC in peritoneal cavity; Quantitative RT-PCR data further demonstrated the induction of a local immunostimulatory milieu by anti-PD-1/OX40 mAb treatment. The splenic CD8(+) T cells from combined mAb treated mice produced high levels of IFN-? upon tumor antigen stimulation and exhibited antigen-specific cytolytic activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study testing the antitumor effects of combined anti-PD-1/OX40 mAb in a murine ovarian cancer model, and our results provide a rationale for clinical trials evaluating ovarian cancer immunotherapy using this combination of mAb.
Project description:There is an urgent need for improved therapy for advanced ovarian carcinoma, which may be met by administering immune-modulatory monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to generate a tumor-destructive immune response. Using the ID8 mouse ovarian cancer model, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of various mAb combinations in mice with intraperitoneal (i.p.) tumor established by transplanting 3 × 10(6) ID8 cells 10 days previously. While most of the tested mAbs were ineffective when given individually or together, the data confirm our previous finding that 2 i.p. injections of a combination of anti-CD137 with anti-PD-1 mAbs doubles overall survival. Mice treated with this mAb combination have a significantly increased frequency and total number of CD8(+) T cells both in the peritoneal lavage and spleens, and these cells are functional as demonstrated by antigen-specific cytolytic activity and IFN-? production. While administration of anti-CD137 mAb as a single agent similarly increases CD8(+) T cells, these have no functional activity, which may be attributed to up-regulation of co-inhibitory PD-1 and TIM-3 molecules induced by CD137. Addition of the anti-cancer drug cisplatin to the 2 mAb combination increased overall survival >90 days (and was probably curative) by a mechanism which included a systemic CD8(+) T cell response with tumor specificity and immunological memory. Strikingly, combined treatment of cisplatin and CD137/PD-1 mAb also gave rise to the long-term survival of mice with established TC1 lung tumors. A similar combination of the 2 mAbs and cisplatin should be considered for clinical 'translation'.
Project description:Induction of potent immune responses to self-antigens remains a major challenge in tumor immunology. We have shown that a vaccine based on alphavirus replicon particles (VRP) activates strong cellular and humoral immunity to tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP2) melanoma antigen, providing prophylactic and therapeutic effects in stringent mouse models. Here, we report that the immunogenicity and efficacy of this vaccine is increased in combination with either antagonist anti-CTL antigen-4 (CTLA-4) or agonist anti-glucocorticoid-induced TNF family-related gene (GITR) immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies (mAb). In the challenging therapeutic setting, VRP-TRP2 plus anti-GITR or anti-CTLA-4 mAb induced complete tumor regression in 90% and 50% of mice, respectively. These mAbs had similar adjuvant effects in priming an adaptive immune response against the vaccine-encoded antigen, augmenting, respectively, approximately 4- and 2-fold the TRP2-specific CD8(+) T-cell response and circulating Abs, compared with the vaccine alone. Furthermore, while both mAbs increased the frequency of tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) T cells, anti-CTLA-4 mAb also increased the quantity of intratumor CD4(+)Foxp3(-) T cells expressing the negative costimulatory molecule programmed death-1 (PD-1). Concurrent GITR expression on these cells suggests that they might be controlled by anti-GITR mAbs, thus potentially explaining their differential accumulation under the two treatment conditions. These findings indicate that combining immunomodulatory mAbs with alphavirus-based anticancer vaccines can provide therapeutic antitumor immune responses in a stringent mouse model, suggesting potential utility in clinical trials. They also indicate that tumor-infiltrating CD4(+)Foxp3(-)PD-1(+) T cells may affect the outcome of immunomodulatory treatments.
Project description:The progressive tumor microenvironment (TME) coordinately supports tumor cell expansion and metastasis, while it antagonizes the survival and (poly-)functionality of antitumor T effector cells. There remains a clear need to develop novel therapeutic strategies that can transform the TME into a pro-inflammatory niche that recruits and sustains protective immune cell populations. While intravenous treatment with tumor-primed CD4+ T cells combined with intraperitoneal delivery of agonist anti-glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor (?-GITR) mAb results in objective antitumor responses in murine early stage disease models, this approach is ineffective against more advanced tumors. Further subcutaneous co-administration of a vaccine consisting of tumor antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DC) failed to improve the antitumor efficacy of this approach. Remarkably, these same three therapeutic agents elicited significant antitumor benefits when the antitumor CD4+ T cells and tumor antigen-loaded DC were co-injected directly into tumors along with intratumoral or intraperitoneal delivery of ?-GITR mAb. This latter protocol induced the production of an array of antitumor cytokines and chemokines within the TME, supporting increased tumor-infiltration by antitumor CD8+ T cells capable of mediating tumor regression and extended overall survival.
Project description:Great progress has been made in the field of tumor immunotherapy in the past decade. However, the therapeutic effects of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) against ovarian cancer are still limited. Recently, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6i) has been reported to enhance antitumor immunity in preclinical models. The combined use of CDK4/6i and ICB may be beneficial, but the effects of CDK4/6is on the tumor immune microenvironment and whether they can synergize with ICB in treating ovarian cancer remain unknown. Methods: In this study, we first assessed the antitumor efficacy of abemaciclib, an FDA-approved CDK4/6i, in a syngeneic murine ovarian cancer model. Then, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and flow cytometry were performed to evaluate the number, proportion, and activity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Cytokine and chemokine production was detected both in vivo and in vitro by PCR array analysis and cytokine antibody arrays. The treatment efficacy of combined abemaciclib and anti-PD-1 therapy was evaluated in vivo, and CD8+ and CD4+ T cell activities were analyzed using flow cytometry. Lastly, the requirement for both CD8+ T cells and B cells in combination treatment was evaluated in vivo, and potential cellular mechanisms were further analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: We observed that abemaciclib monotherapy could enhance immune infiltration, especially CD8+ T cell and B cell infiltration, in the ID8 murine ovarian cancer model. Immunophenotyping analysis showed that abemaciclib induced a proinflammatory immune response in the tumor microenvironment. PCR array analysis suggested the presence of a Th1-polarized cytokine profile in abemaciclib-treated ID8 tumors. In vitro studies showed that abemaciclib-treated ID8 cells secreted more CXCL10 and CXCL13, thus recruiting more lymphocytes than control groups. Combination treatment achieved better tumor control than monotherapy, and the activities of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were further enhanced when compared with monotherapy. The synergistic antitumor effects of combined abemaciclib and anti-PD-1 therapy depended on both CD8+ T cells and B cells. Conclusion: These findings suggest that combined treatment with CDK4/6i and anti-PD-1 antibody could improve the efficacy of anti-PD-1 therapy and hold great promise for the treatment of poorly immune-infiltrated ovarian cancer.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM-3) is known as a negative immune regulator and emerging data have implicated TIM-3 a pivotal role in suppressing antitumor immunity. The co-stimulatory receptor CD137 is transiently upregulated on T-cells following activation and increases their proliferation and survival when engaged. Although antagonistic anti-TIM-3 or agonistic anti-CD137 antibodies can promote the rejection of several murine tumors, some poorly immunogenic tumors were refractory to this treatment. In this study, we sought to evaluate whether combined TIM-3 blockade and CD137 activation would significantly improve the immunotherapy in the murine ID8 ovarian cancer model.<h4>Methods</h4>Mice with established ID8 tumor were intraperitoneally injected with single or combined anti-TIM-3/CD137 monoclonal antibody (mAb); mice survival was recorded, the composition and gene expression of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in these mice was analyzed by flow cytometry and quantitative RT-PCR respectively, and the function of CD8? cells was evaluated by ELISA and cytotoxicity assay.<h4>Results</h4>Either anti-TIM-3 or CD137 mAb alone, although effective in 3 days established tumor, was unable to prevent tumor progression in mice bearing 10 days established tumor, however, combined anti-TIM-3/CD137 mAb significantly inhibited the growth of these tumors with 60% of mice tumor free 90 days after tumor inoculation. Therapeutic efficacy was associated with a systemic immune response with memory and antigen specificity, required CD4? cells and CD8? cells. The 2 mAb combination increased CD4? and CD8? cells and decreased immunosuppressive CD4?FoxP3? regulatory T (Treg) cells and CD11b?Gr-1? myeloid suppressor cells (MDSC) at tumor sites, giving rise to significantly elevated ratios of CD4? and CD8? cells to Treg and MDSC; This is consistent with biasing local immune response towards an immunostimulatory Th1 type and is further supported by quantitative RT-PCR data showing the increased Th1-associated genes by anti-TIM-3/CD137 treatment. The increased CD8? T cells produced high level of IFN-? upon tumor antigen stimulation and displayed antigen-specific cytotoxic activity.<h4>Conclusions</h4>To our knowledge, this is the first report investigating the effects of anti-TIM-3/CD137 combined mAb in a murine ovarian cancer model, and our results may aid the design of future trials for ovarian cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:Therapy for cancer can be achieved by artificially stimulating antitumor T and natural killer (NK) lymphocytes with agonist monoclonal antibodies (mAb). T and NK cells express several members of the TNF receptor (TNFR) family specialized in delivering a costimulatory signal on their surface. Engagement of these receptors is typically associated with proliferation, elevated effector functions, resistance to apoptosis, and differentiation into memory cells. These receptors lack any intrinsic enzymatic activity and their signal transduction relies on associations with TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) adaptor proteins. Stimulation of CD137 (4-1BB), CD134 (OX40), and glucocorticoid-induced TNFR (GITR; CD357) promotes impressive tumor-rejecting immunity in a variety of murine tumor models. The mechanisms of action depend on a complex interplay of CTL, T-helper cells, regulatory T cells, dendritic cells, and vascular endothelium in tumors. Agonist mAbs specific for CD137 have shown signs of objective clinical activity in patients with metastatic melanoma, whereas anti-OX40 and anti-GITR mAbs have entered clinical trials. Preclinical evidence suggests that engaging TNFR members would be particularly active with conventional cancer therapies and additional immunotherapeutic approaches. Indeed, T-cell responses elicited to tumor antigens by means of immunogenic tumor cell death are amplified by these immunostimulatory agonist mAbs. Furthermore, anti-CD137 mAbs have been shown to enhance NK-mediated cytotoxicity elicited by rituximab and trastuzumab. Combinations with other immunomodulatory mAb that block T-cell checkpoint blockade receptors such as CTLA-4 and PD-1 are also promising.
Project description:Antibodies blocking the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) have shown impressive and durable responses in clinical studies. However, this type of immunotherapy is only effective in a subset of patients and not sufficient for rejection of all tumor types. In this study, we explored in two mouse tumor models whether the antitumor effect could be enhanced by the combined blockade of PD-L1 and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), a potent immunosuppressive cytokine. The effect of anti-PD-L1 mouse monoclonal (mAb) and a TGF-β type I receptor small molecule kinase inhibitor (LY364947) was evaluated in the highly immunogenic mouse MC38 colon adenocarcinoma and the poorly immunogenic mouse KPC1 pancreatic tumor model. In the MC38 tumor model, LY364947 monotherapy did not show any antitumor effect, whereas treatment with anti-PD-L1 mAb significantly delayed tumor outgrowth. However, combination therapy showed the strongest therapeutic efficacy, resulting in improved long-term survival compared with anti-PD-L1 mAb monotherapy. This improved survival was associated with an increased influx of CD8⁺ T cells in the tumor microenvironment. In the KPC1 tumor model, LY364947 did not enhance the antitumor effect of anti-PD-L1 mAb. Despite this, delayed KPC1 tumor outgrowth was observed in the LY364947-treated group and this treatment led to a significant reduction of CD4⁺ T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Together, our data indicate that an additive anti-tumor response of dual targeting PD-L1 and TGF-β is dependent on the tumor model used, highlighting the importance of selecting appropriate cancer types, using in-depth analysis of the tumor microenvironment, which can benefit from combinatorial immunotherapy regimens.
Project description:The tumor microenvironment mediates induction of the immunosuppressive programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) pathway, and targeted interventions against this pathway can help restore antitumor immunity. To gain insight into these responses, we studied the interaction between PD-1 expressed on T cells and its ligands (PD-1:PD-L1, PD-1:PD-L2, and PD-L1:B7.1), expressed on other cells in the tumor microenvironment, using a syngeneic orthotopic mouse model of epithelial ovarian cancer (ID8). Exhaustion of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) correlated with expression of PD-1 ligands by tumor cells and tumor-derived myeloid cells, including tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), dendritic cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). When combined with GVAX or FVAX vaccination (consisting of irradiated ID8 cells expressing granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor or FLT3 ligand) and costimulation by agonistic ?-4-1BB or TLR 9 ligand, antibody-mediated blockade of PD-1 or PD-L1 triggered rejection of ID8 tumors in 75% of tumor-bearing mice. This therapeutic effect was associated with increased proliferation and function of tumor antigen-specific effector CD8(+) T cells, inhibition of suppressive regulatory T cells (Treg) and MDSC, upregulation of effector T-cell signaling molecules, and generation of T memory precursor cells. Overall, PD-1/PD-L1 blockade enhanced the amplitude of tumor immunity by reprogramming suppressive and stimulatory signals that yielded more powerful cancer control.
Project description:Programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) is known to suppress immune system and to be an unfavorable prognostic factor in ovarian cancer. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the function of PD-L1 in peritoneal dissemination. Tumor cell lysis by CTLs was attenuated when PD-L1 on tumor cells was overexpressed and promoted when it was silenced. PD-L1 overexpression also inhibited gathering and degranulation of CTLs. Gene expression profile of mouse CTLs caused by PD-L1-overexpressing ovarian cancer was related to human CTLs exhaustion. In mouse ovarian cancer dissemination models, depleting PD-L1 expression on tumor cells resulted in inhibited tumor growth in the peritoneal cavity and prolonged survival. Restoring immune function by inhibiting immune-suppressive factors such as PD-L1 may be a promising therapeutic strategy for peritoneal dissemination. Genome-wide transcriptional changes in OT-1 mouse CD8+ T cells that were co-incubated with OVA peptide-loaded ID8 mouse ovarian cancer cell lines. CTLs from 4 mice were devided into 2 groups, and co-incubated with PD-L1-overexpressed ID8 or PD-L1-depleted ID8.