PD-1 blockade enhances the vaccination-induced immune response in glioma.
ABSTRACT: DC vaccination with autologous tumor lysate has demonstrated promising results for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) in preclinical and clinical studies. While the vaccine appears capable of inducing T cell infiltration into tumors, the effectiveness of active vaccination in progressively growing tumors is less profound. In parallel, a number of studies have identified negative costimulatory pathways, such as programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1), as relevant mediators of the intratumoral immune responses. Clinical responses to PD-1 pathway inhibition, however, have also been varied. To evaluate the relevance to established glioma, the effects of PD-1 blockade following DC vaccination were tested in intracranial (i.c.) glioma tumor- bearing mice. Treatment with both DC vaccination and PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in long-term survival, while neither agent alone induced a survival benefit in animals with larger, established tumors. This survival benefit was completely dependent on CD8(+) T cells. Additionally, DC vaccine plus PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in the upregulation of integrin homing and immunologic memory markers on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). In clinical samples, DC vaccination in GBM patients was associated with upregulation of PD-1 expression in vivo, while ex vivo blockade of PD-1 on freshly isolated TILs dramatically enhanced autologous tumor cell cytolysis. These findings strongly suggest that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway plays an important role in the adaptive immune resistance of established GBM in response to antitumor active vaccination and provide us with a rationale for the clinical translation of this combination therapy.
Project description:Adaptive immune resistance in the tumor microenvironment appears to attenuate the immunotherapeutic targeting of glioblastoma (GBM). In this study, we identified a tumor-infiltrating myeloid cell (TIM) population that expands in response to dendritic cell (DC) vaccine treatment. The aim of this study was to understand how this programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-expressing population restricts activation and tumor-cytolytic function of vaccine-induced tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs).To test this hypothesis in our in vivo preclinical model, we treated mice bearing intracranial gliomas with DC vaccination ± murine anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) blockade or a colony stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor (CSF-1Ri) (PLX3397) and measured overall survival. We then harvested and characterized the PD-L1+ TIM population and its role in TIL activation and tumor cytolysis in vitro.Our data indicated that the majority of PD-L1 expression in the GBM environment is contributed by TIMs rather than by tumor cells themselves. While PD-1 blockade partially reversed the TIL dysfunction, targeting TIMs directly with CSF-1Ri altered TIM expression of key chemotactic factors associated with promoting increased TIL infiltration after vaccination. Neither PD-1 mAb nor CSF-1Ri had a demonstrable therapeutic benefit alone, but when combined with DC vaccination, a significant survival benefit was observed. When the tripartite regimen was given (DC vaccine, PD-1 mAb, PLX3397), long-term survival was noted together with an increase in the number of TILs and TIL activation.Together, these studies elucidate the role that TIMs play in mediating adaptive immune resistance in the GBM microenvironment and provide evidence that they can be manipulated pharmacologically with agents that are clinically available. Development of immune resistance in response to active vaccination in GBM can be reversed with dual administration of CSF-1Ri and PD-1 mAb.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Although clinical trials testing immunotherapies in glioblastoma (GBM) have yielded mixed results, new strategies targeting tumor-specific somatic coding mutations, termed "neoantigens," represent promising therapeutic approaches. We characterized the microenvironment and neoantigen landscape of the aggressive CT2A GBM model in order to develop a platform to test combination checkpoint blockade and neoantigen vaccination.<h4>Methods</h4>Flow cytometric analysis was performed on intracranial CT2A and GL261 tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Whole-exome DNA and RNA sequencing of the CT2A murine GBM was employed to identify expressed, somatic mutations. Predicted neoantigens were identified using the pVAC-seq software suite, and top-ranking candidates were screened for reactivity by interferon-gamma enzyme linked immunospot assays. Survival analysis was performed comparing neoantigen vaccination, anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (?PD-L1), or combination therapy.<h4>Results</h4>Compared with the GL261 model, CT2A exhibited immunologic features consistent with human GBM including reduced ?PD-L1 sensitivity and hypofunctional TILs. Of the 29 CT2A neoantigens screened, we identified neoantigen-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in the intracranial TIL and draining lymph nodes to two H2-Kb restricted (Epb4H471L and Pomgnt1R497L) and one H2-Db restricted neoantigen (Plin2G332R). Survival analysis showed that therapeutic neoantigen vaccination with Epb4H471L, Pomgnt1R497L, and Plin2G332R, in combination with ?PD-L1 treatment was superior to ?PD-L1 alone.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We identified endogenous neoantigen specific CD8+ T cells within an ?PD-L1 resistant murine GBM and show that neoantigen vaccination significantly augments survival benefit in combination with ?PD-L1 treatment. These observations provide important preclinical correlates for GBM immunotherapy trials and support further investigation into the effects of multimodal immunotherapeutic interventions on antiglioma immunity.<h4>Key points</h4>1. Neoantigen vaccines combined with checkpoint blockade may be promising treatments.2. CT2A tumors exhibit features of human GBM microenvironments.3. Differential scanning fluorimetry assays may complement in silico neoantigen prediction tools.
Project description:Background:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal primary malignant glioma in adults. Dendritic cell (DC) vaccines have demonstrated promising results in GBM clinical trials. However, some patients do not respond well to DC therapy, with survival rates similar to those of conventional therapy. We retrospectively analyzed clinical and laboratory data to evaluate the factors affecting vaccine treatment. Methods:Forty-seven patients with de novo GBM were enrolled at China Medical University Hospital between 2005 and 2010 and divided into two subgroups. One subgroup of 27 patients received postsurgical adjuvant immunotherapy with autologous dendritic cell/tumor antigen vaccine (ADCTA) in conjunction with conventional treatment of concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) with temozolomide. The other 20 patients received only postsurgical conventional treatment without immunotherapy. Immunohistochemistry for CD45, CD4, CD8, programed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), and programed death 1 (PD-1) was performed on sections of surgical tumor specimens and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Pearson's correlation, Cox proportional hazard model, and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to examine the correlations between the prognostic factors and survival rates. Results:Younger age (<57?years), gross total resection, and CCRT and PD-1+ lymphocyte counts were significant prognostic factors of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in the ADCTA group. Sex, CD45+ lymphocyte count, CD4+ or CD8+ lymphocyte count, tumor PD-L1 expression, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 mutation, and O6 methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase promoter methylation status were not significant factors in both groups. In the ADCTA group, patients with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) with a lower PD-1+/CD8+ ratio (?0.21) had longer OS and PFS (median OS 60.97?months, P?<?0.001 and PFS 11.2?months, P?<?0.008) compared to those with higher PD-1+/CD8+ ratio (>0.21) (median OS 20.07?months, P?<?0.001 and PFS 4.43?months, P?<?0.008). Similar results were observed in patients' PBMCs; lymphocyte counts with lower PD-1+/CD8+ ratio (?0.197) had longer OS and PFS. There was a significant correlation of PD-1+/CD8+ ratio between TILs and PBMCs (Pearson's correlation R2?=?0.6002, P?<?0.001). By contrast, CD4-, CD8-, but PD-1+, CD45+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes have no impact on OS and PFS (P?=?0.073 and P?=?0.249, respectively). Conclusion:For patients receiving DC vaccine adjuvant therapy, better outcomes are predicted in patients with younger age, with TILs or PBMCs with lower PD-1+/CD8+ ratio, with gross tumor resection, and receiving CCRT.
Project description:PD-1 blockade represents a major therapeutic avenue in anticancer immunotherapy. Delineating mechanisms of secondary resistance to this strategy is increasingly important. Here, we identified the deleterious role of signaling via the type I interferon (IFN) receptor in tumor and antigen presenting cells, that induced the expression of nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2), associated with intratumor accumulation of regulatory T cells (Treg) and myeloid cells and acquired resistance to anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb). Sustained IFN? transcription was observed in resistant tumors, in turn inducing PD-L1 and NOS2 expression in both tumor and dendritic cells (DC). Whereas PD-L1 was not involved in secondary resistance to anti-PD-1 mAb, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of NOS2 maintained long-term control of tumors by PD-1 blockade, through reduction of Treg and DC activation. Resistance to immunotherapies, including anti-PD-1 mAb in melanoma patients, was also correlated with the induction of a type I IFN signature. Hence, the role of type I IFN in response to PD-1 blockade should be revisited as sustained type I IFN signaling may contribute to resistance to therapy.
Project description:Immune-checkpoint blockade enhances antitumor responses against cancers. One cancer type that is sensitive to checkpoint blockade is squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), which we use here to study limitations of this treatment modality. We observed that CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in SCCHN and melanoma express excess immune checkpoints components PD-1 and Tim-3 and are also CD27-/CD28-, a phenotype we previously associated with immune dysfunction and suppression. In ex vivo experiments, patients' CD8+ TILs with this phenotype suppressed proliferation of autologous peripheral blood T cells. Similar phenotype and function of TILs was observed in the TC-1 mouse tumor model. Treatment of TC-1 tumors with anti-PD-1 or anti-Tim-3 slowed tumor growth in vivo and reversed the suppressive function of multi-checkpoint+ CD8+ TIL. Similarly, treatment of both human and mouse PD-1+ Tim-3+ CD8+ TILs with anticheckpoint antibodies ex vivo reversed their suppressive function. These suppressive CD8+ TILs from mice and humans expressed ligands for PD-1 and Tim-3 and exerted their suppressive function via IL10 and close contact. To model therapeutic strategies, we combined anti-PD-1 blockade with IL7 cytokine therapy or with transfer of antigen-specific T cells. Both strategies resulted in synergistic antitumor effects and reduced suppressor cell function. These findings enhance our understanding of checkpoint blockade in cancer treatment and identify strategies to promote synergistic activities in the context of other immunotherapies.
Project description:Background: Although programmed death-1 (PD-1) blockade is effective in treating several types of cancer, the efficacy of this agent in glioblastoma (GBM) is largely unknown. Methods: We evaluated therapeutic effects of anti-PD-1, temozolomide (TMZ), and their combination in an orthotopic murine GBM model. The phenotype, number, and composition of lymphocytes were evaluated using flow cytometry. Transcriptional profiles of tumor tissues were analyzed using microarrays. Generation of antitumor immunological memory was investigated upon rechallenge. Results: Combined treatment with anti-PD-1 and TMZ yielded synergistic antitumor efficacy in the presence of donor-originated PD-1+CD8+ T cells in vitro, necessitating in vivo validation. Whereas TMZ did not rescue GBM-implanted mice, anti-PD-1 completely eradicated GBM in 44.4% of mice, and combination of anti-PD-1 and TMZ in all mice. Anti-PD-1 significantly increased the number of tumor-infiltrating lymhpocytes (TILs), and reduced frequencies of exhausted T cells and regulatory T cells. However, combining TMZ with anti-PD-1 significantly decreased the number of TILs, which was also observed with TMZ treatment alone. A transcriptome analysis of tumor tissues revealed that anti-PD-1 monotherapy perturbed immune-related genes, distinctly with combined therapy. Upon rechallenge, tumor growth was not observed in mice cured by anti-PD-1 monotherapy, whereas tumors regrew in the combination group. Furthermore, an analysis of peripheral blood revealed that antitumor memory T cells were generated in mice cured by anti-PD-1 monotherapy, not in the combination group. Conclusion: PD-1 blockade induces long-term therapeutic response, and combination with TMZ further enhances antitumor efficacy. However, immunological memory is provoked by anti-PD-1 monotherapy, not by combined therapy.
Project description:Patients who survive sepsis experience long-term immunoparalysis characterized by numerical and/or functional lesions in innate and adaptive immunity that increase the host's susceptibility to secondary complications. The extent to which tumor development/growth is affected in sepsis survivors remains unknown. In this study, we show cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) surgery renders mice permissive to increased B16 melanoma growth weeks/months after sepsis induction. CD8 T cells provide partial protection in this model, and tumors from sepsis survivors had a reduced frequency of CD8 tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) concomitant with an increased tumor burden. Interestingly, the postseptic environment reduced the number of CD8 TILs with high expression of activating/inhibitory receptors PD-1 and LAG-3 (denoted PD-1hi) that define a tumor-specific CD8 T cell subset that retain some functional capacity. Direct ex vivo analysis of CD8 TILs from CLP hosts showed decreased proliferation, IFN-? production, and survival compared with sham counterparts. To increase the frequency and/or functional capacity of PD-1hi CD8 TILs in tumor-bearing sepsis survivors, checkpoint blockade therapy using anti-PD-L1/anti-LAG-3 mAb was administered before or after the development of sepsis-induced lesions in CD8 TILs. Checkpoint blockade did not reduce tumor growth in CLP hosts when therapy was administered after PD-1hi CD8 TILs had become reduced in frequency and/or function. However, early therapeutic intervention before lesions were observed significantly reduced tumor growth to levels seen in nonseptic hosts receiving therapy. Thus, sepsis-induced immunoparalysis is defined by diminished CD8 T cell-mediated antitumor immunity that can respond to timely checkpoint blockade, further emphasizing the importance of early cancer detection in hosts that survive sepsis.
Project description:Despite the promising therapeutic effects of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), most patients with solid tumors treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy do not achieve objective responses, with most tumor regressions being partial rather than complete. It is hypothesized that the absence of pre-existing antitumor immunity and/or the presence of additional tumor immune suppressive factors at the tumor microenvironment are responsible for such therapeutic failures. It is therefore clear that in order to fully exploit the potential of PD-1 blockade therapy, antitumor immune response should be amplified, while tumor immune suppression should be further attenuated. Cancer vaccines may prime patients for treatments with ICB by inducing effective anti-tumor immunity, especially in patients lacking tumor-infiltrating T-cells. These "non-inflamed" non-permissive tumors that are resistant to ICB could be rendered sensitive and transformed into "inflamed" tumor by vaccination. In this article we describe a clinical study where we use pancreatic cancer as a model, and we hypothesize that effective vaccination in pancreatic cancer patients, along with interventions that can reprogram important immunosuppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment, can enhance tumor immune recognition, thus enhancing response to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade. We incorporate into the schedule of standard of care (SOC) chemotherapy adjuvant setting a vaccine platform comprised of autologous dendritic cells loaded with personalized neoantigen peptides (PEP-DC) identified through our own proteo-genomics antigen discovery pipeline. Furthermore, we add nivolumab, an antibody against PD-1, to boost and maintain the vaccine's effect. We also demonstrate the feasibility of identifying personalized neoantigens in three pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients, and we describe their optimal incorporation into long peptides for manufacturing into vaccine products. We finally discuss the advantages as well as the scientific and logistic challenges of such an exploratory vaccine clinical trial, and we highlight its novelty.
Project description:PURPOSE:The success of checkpoint blockade against glioblastoma (GBM) has been disappointing. Anti-PD-1 strategies may be hampered by severe T-cell exhaustion. We sought to develop a strategy that might license new efficacy for checkpoint blockade in GBM. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:We characterized 4-1BB expression in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from human GBM. We implanted murine tumor models including glioma (CT2A), melanoma (B16), breast (E0771), and lung carcinomas intracranially and subcutaneously, characterized 4-1BB expression, and tested checkpoint blockade strategies in vivo. RESULTS:Our data reveal that 4-1BB is frequently present on nonexhausted CD8+ TILs in human and murine GBM. In murine gliomas, 4-1BB agonism and PD-1 blockade demonstrate a synergistic survival benefit in a CD8+ T-cell-dependent manner. The combination decreases TIL exhaustion and improves TIL functionality. This strategy proves most successful against intracranial CT2A gliomas. Efficacy in all instances correlates with the levels of 4-1BB expression on CD8+ TILs, rather than with histology or with intracranial versus subcutaneous tumor location. Proffering 4-1BB expression to T cells licenses combination 4-1BB agonism and PD-1 blockade in models where TIL 4-1BB levels had previously been low and the treatment ineffective. CONCLUSIONS:Although poor T-cell activation and severe T-cell exhaustion appear to be limiting factors for checkpoint blockade in GBM, 4-1BB agonism obviates these limitations and produces long-term survival when combined with anti-PD-1 therapy. Furthermore, this combination therapy is limited by TIL 4-1BB expression, but not by the intracranial compartment, and therefore may be particularly well-suited to GBM.
Project description:Neoantigens represent promising targets for personalized cancer vaccine strategies. However, the feasibility of this approach in lower mutational burden tumors like glioblastoma (GBM) remains unknown. We have previously reported the use of an immunogenomics pipeline to identify candidate neoantigens in preclinical models of GBM. Here, we report the application of the same immunogenomics pipeline to identify candidate neoantigens and guide screening for neoantigen-specific T cell responses in a patient with GBM treated with a personalized synthetic long peptide vaccine following autologous tumor lysate DC vaccination. Following vaccination, reactivity to three HLA class I- and five HLA class II-restricted candidate neoantigens were detected by IFN-γ ELISPOT in peripheral blood. A similar pattern of reactivity was observed among isolated post-treatment tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Genomic analysis of pre- and post-treatment GBM reflected clonal remodeling. These data demonstrate the feasibility and translational potential of a therapeutic neoantigen-based vaccine approach in patients with primary CNS tumors.