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Dual blockade of IL-6 and CTLA-4 regresses pancreatic tumors in a CD4+ T cell-dependent manner

Published on Feb 7, 2020in bioRxiv
· DOI :10.1101/2020.02.07.939199
Michael B. Ware1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Emory University),
Christopher McQuinn3
Estimated H-index: 3
(OSU: Ohio State University)
+ 14 AuthorsJacob S. Bowers8
Estimated H-index: 8
(MUSC: Medical University of South Carolina)
Abstract
Abstract: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is exceptionally resistant to immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI). We previously reported that elevated systemic interleukin-6 (IL-6) and increased numbers of T cells positive for circulating cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA 4) correlate with worse overall survival in patients with PDAC. We postulated that combined blockade of IL-6 and CTLA-4 would significantly enhance anti-tumor immune responses to PDAC. Dual blockade of IL-6 and CTLA-4 in immune competent mice bearing subcutaneously injected pancreatic tumors significantly inhibited tumor growth, accompanied by overwhelming T cell infiltration. Therapeutic efficacy was confirmed in an orthotopic murine model of pancreatic cancer and T cell depletion studies unveiled a unique dependence on CD4+ T cells for anti-tumor activity of dual IL-6 and CTLA-4 blockade. In vitro studies utilizing T cells from a TRP-1 transgenic mouse as an antigen-specific model system demonstrate this combination therapy elicits increased IFN-γ production by activated CD4+ T cells. Additionally, IFN-γ stimulation of pancreatic tumor cells in vitro profoundly increased tumor cell production of CXCR3 specific chemokines (CXCL10 and CXCL9). Further studies blocking CXCR3 in the presence of combined IL-6 and CTLA-4 blockade prevented orthotopic tumor regression, demonstrating a dependence on the CXCR3 axis for anti-tumor efficacy. We also found combination therapy increased intratumoral CD4+ T cells and elicited systemic changes in T helper subsets. These data represent the first report of IL-6 and CTLA-4 blockade as a means to regress pancreatic tumors with defined operative mechanisms of efficacy. Given these results, this therapeutic combination has potential for immediate clinical translation.
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References54
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The ability of the immune system to eliminate and shape the immunogenicity of tumours defines the process of cancer immunoediting1. Immunotherapies such as those that target immune checkpoint molecules can be used to augment immune-mediated elimination of tumours and have resulted in durable responses in patients with cancer that did not respond to previous treatments. However, only a subset of patients benefit from immunotherapy and more knowledge about what is required for successful treatment...
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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 monoclo...
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Carcinoma-associated pancreatic fibroblasts (CAFs) are the major type of cells in the stroma of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas and besides their pathological release of extracellular matrix proteins, they are also perceived as key contributors to immune evasion. Despite the known relevance of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in cancers, the interactions between T-cells and CAFs remain largely unexplored. Here, we found that CAFs isolated from tumors of pancreatic cancer patients undergoing surg...
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Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) continues to be one of the most aggressive and lethal diseases in the world. The success of immunotherapy in other types of malignancy has led to further trials to understand better the role of immunotherapy in PDAC. However, initial studies with immunotherapy, namely, the checkpoint inhibitors, in PDAC have not been met with the same outcomes. The purpose of this review is to identify and discuss the various resistance mechanisms of PDAC to imm...
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is poorly responsive to therapies and histologically contains a paucity of neoplastic cells embedded within a dense desmoplastic stroma. Within the stroma, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) secrete tropic factors and extracellular matrix components, and have been implicated in PDAC progression and chemotherapy resistance. We recently identified two distinct CAF subtypes characterized by either myofibroblastic or inflammatory phenotypes; however, the mec...
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