BACKGROUND. Programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibition activates partially exhausted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (peCTLs) and induces tumor regression. We previously showed that the peCTL fraction predicts response to anti–PD-1 monotherapy. Here, we sought to correlate peCTL and regulatory T lymphocyte (Treg) levels with response to combination immunotherapy, and with demographic/disease characteristics, in metastatic melanoma patients. METHODS. Pretreatment melanoma samples underwent multiparameter flow cytometric analysis. Patients were treated with anti–PD-1 monotherapy or combination therapy, and responses determined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1) criteria. peCTL and Treg levels across demographic/disease variables were compared. Low versus high peCTL (≤20% vs. >20%) were defined from a previous study. RESULTS. One hundred and two melanoma patients were identified. The peCTL fraction was higher in responders than nonresponders. Low peCTL correlated with female sex and liver metastasis, but not with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), tumor stage, or age. While overall response rates (ORRs) to anti–PD-1 monotherapy and combination therapy were similar in high-peCTL patients, low-peCTL patients given combination therapy demonstrated higher ORRs than those who received monotherapy. Treg levels were not associated with these factors nor with response. CONCLUSION. In melanoma, pretreatment peCTL fraction is reduced in women and in patients with liver metastasis. In low-peCTL patients, anti–PD-1 combination therapy is associated with significantly higher ORR than anti–PD-1 monotherapy. Fewer tumor-infiltrating peCTLs may be required to achieve response to combination immunotherapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. UCSF IRB Protocol 138510 FUNDING. NIH DP2-AR068130, K08-AR062064, AR066821, and Burroughs Wellcome CAMS-1010934 (M.D.R.). Amoroso and Cook Fund, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (A.I.D.).
Kimberly Loo, Katy K. Tsai, Kelly Mahuron, Jacqueline Liu, Mariela L. Pauli, Priscila M. Sandoval, Adi Nosrati, James Lee, Lawrence Chen, Jimmy Hwang, Lauren S. Levine, Matthew F. Krummel, Alain P. Algazi, Michael D Alvarado, Michael D. Rosenblum, Adil I. Daud
Evaluation of T lymphocyte frequency provides prognostic information for patients with oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC). However, the effect of simultaneously evaluating T cell frequency and assessing suppressive elements and defects in antigen-processing machinery (APM) has not been clarified. Simultaneous characterization of CD3+, CD8+, FoxP3+, CD163+, and PD-L1+ cells using multispectral imaging was performed on sections from 119 patients with HPV– OSCC. Expression of β2-microglobulin, MHC class I heavy chain, and large multifunctional peptidase 10 was quantified, and all data were correlated with patient outcome. We found that, consistent with previous reports, high numbers of CD8+ T cells at the invasive margin correlated significantly with prolonged overall survival (OS), while the number of FoxP3+ or PD-L1+ cells did not. Compiling the number of FoxP3+ or PD-L1+ cells within 30 μm of CD8+ T cells identified a significant association with a high number of suppressive elements close to CD8+ T cells and reduced OS. Integrating this information into a cumulative suppression index (CSI) increased correlation with OS. Incorporating tumor expression levels of APM components with CSI further improved prognostic power. This multiparametric immune profiling may be useful for stratifying patients with OSCC for clinical trials.
Zipei Feng, Daniel Bethmann, Matthias Kappler, Carmen Ballesteros-Merino, Alexander Eckert, R. Bryan Bell, Allen Cheng, Tuan Bui, Rom Leidner, Walter J. Urba, Kent Johnson, Clifford Hoyt, Carlo B. Bifulco, Juergen Bukur, Claudia Wickenhauser, Barbara Seliger, Bernard A. Fox
A central issue for adoptive cellular immunotherapy is overcoming immunosuppressive signals to achieve tumor clearance. While γδ T cells are known to be potent cytolytic effectors that can kill a variety of cancers, it is not clear whether they are inhibited by suppressive ligands expressed in tumor microenvironments. Here, we have used a powerful preclinical model where EBV infection drives the de novo generation of human B cell lymphomas in vivo, and autologous T lymphocytes are held in check by PD-1/CTLA-4–mediated inhibition. We show that a single dose of adoptively transferred Vδ2+ T cells has potent antitumor effects, even in the absence of checkpoint blockade or activating compounds. Vδ2+ T cell immunotherapy given within the first 5 days of EBV infection almost completely prevented the outgrowth of tumors. Vδ2+ T cell immunotherapy given more than 3 weeks after infection (after neoplastic transformation is evident) resulted in a dramatic reduction in tumor burden. The immunotherapeutic Vδ2+ T cells maintained low cell surface expression of PD-1 in vivo, and their recruitment to tumors was followed by a decrease in B cells expressing PD-L1 and PD-L2 inhibitory ligands. These results suggest that adoptively transferred PD-1lo Vδ2+ T cells circumvent the tumor checkpoint environment in vivo.
Nicholas A. Zumwalde, Akshat Sharma, Xuequn Xu, Shidong Ma, Christine L. Schneider, James C. Romero-Masters, Amy W. Hudson, Annette Gendron-Fitzpatrick, Shannon C. Kenney, Jenny E. Gumperz
Airway epithelial cells are prone to the damage caused by lung cancer risk factors, such as cigarette smoking. Little is known about surrogate biomarkers in the bronchial airway epithelium that can be used to assess the effect of potential chemoprevention drugs on lung adenocarcinoma formation/progression. Pioglitazone has been suggested as a chemoprevention drug for lung cancer. To study the mechanisms underlying the role of pioglitazone in lung cancer prevention, we performed transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) and found that Kras signaling was repressed by pioglitazone treatment in the airway epithelial cells of mice with lung adenocarcinoma (FDR q = 9.8E-04). It was also found that glucose metabolic pathways were elevated in the airway epithelium of mice with lung adenocarcinomas and inhibited by pioglitazone treatment (FDR q = 0.01). Downregulation of glucose metabolism genes was also observed in lung tumors of mice treated with pioglitazone. The high-risk expression signature of elevated glucose metabolism was associated with poor survival outcome in multiple lung adenocarcinoma patient populations (P values ranging from 1.0E-9 to 5.5E-5). Our results suggest that the role of pioglitazone in preventing lung adenocarcinoma may depend on inhibiting Kras signaling and glucose metabolism, which may serve as biomarkers of agent action in the airway epithelium.
Donghai Xiong, Jing Pan, Qi Zhang, Eva Szabo, Mark Steven Miller, Ronald A. Lubet, Yian Wang, Ming You
Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) typically shows ~7 chromosome losses (1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 17, and 21) and ~31 exonic somatic mutations, yet carries ~5%–10% metastatic incidence. Since extensive chromosomal losses can generate proteotoxic stress and compromise cellular proliferation, it is intriguing how chRCC, a tumor with extensive chromosome losses and a low number of somatic mutations, can develop lethal metastases. Genomic features distinguishing metastatic from nonmetastatic chRCC are unknown. An integrated approach, including whole-genome sequencing (WGS), targeted ultradeep cancer gene sequencing, and chromosome analyses (FACETS, OncoScan, and FISH), was performed on 79 chRCC patients including 38 metastatic (M-chRCC) cases. We demonstrate that TP53 mutations (58%), PTEN mutations (24%), and imbalanced chromosome duplication (ICD, duplication of ≥ 3 chromosomes) (25%) were enriched in M-chRCC. Reconstruction of the subclonal composition of paired primary-metastatic chRCC tumors supports the role of TP53, PTEN, and ICD in metastatic evolution. Finally, the presence of these 3 genomic features in primary tumors of both The Cancer Genome Atlas kidney chromophobe (KICH) (n = 64) and M-chRCC (n = 35) cohorts was associated with worse survival. In summary, our study provides genomic insights into the metastatic progression of chRCC and identifies TP53 mutations, PTEN mutations, and ICD as high-risk features.
Jozefina Casuscelli, Nils Weinhold, Gunes Gundem, Lu Wang, Emily C. Zabor, Esther Drill, Patricia I. Wang, Gouri J. Nanjangud, Almedina Redzematovic, Amrita M. Nargund, Brandon J. Manley, Maria E. Arcila, Nicholas M. Donin, John C. Cheville, R. Houston Thompson, Allan J. Pantuck, Paul Russo, Emily H. Cheng, William Lee, Satish K. Tickoo, Irina Ostrovnaya, Chad J. Creighton, Elli Papaemmanuil, Venkatraman E. Seshan, A. Ari Hakimi, James J. Hsieh
T follicular helper cells (TFH cells) are important regulators of antigen-specific B cell responses. The B cell chemoattractant CXCL13 has recently been linked with TFH cell infiltration and improved survival in human cancer. Although human TFH cells can produce CXCL13, their immune functions are currently unknown. This study presents data from human breast cancer, advocating a role for tumor-infiltrating CXCL13-producing (CXCR5–) TFH cells, here named TFHX13 cells, in promoting local memory B cell differentiation. TFHX13 cells potentially trigger tertiary lymphoid structure formation and thereby generate germinal center B cell responses at the tumor site. Follicular DCs are not potent CXCL13 producers in breast tumor tissues. We used the TFH cell markers PD-1 and ICOS to identify distinct effector and regulatory CD4+ T cell subpopulations in breast tumors. TFHX13 cells are an important component of the PD-1hiICOSint effector subpopulation and coexpanded with PD-1hiICOSintFOXP3hi Tregs. IL2 deprivation induces CXCL13 expression in vitro with a synergistic effect from TGFβ1, providing insight into TFHX13 cell differentiation in response to Treg accumulation, similar to conventional TFH cell responses. Our data suggest that human TFHX13 cell differentiation may be a key factor in converting Treg-mediated immune suppression to de novo activation of adaptive antitumor humoral responses in the chronic inflammatory breast cancer microenvironment.
Chunyan Gu-Trantien, Edoardo Migliori, Laurence Buisseret, Alexandre de Wind, Sylvain Brohée, Soizic Garaud, Grégory Noël, Luan Dang C.V., Jean-Nicolas Lodewyckx, Céline Naveaux, Hugues Duvillier, Stanislas Goriely, Denis Larsimont, Karen Willard-Gallo
Endometrial stromal tumors include translocation-associated low- and high-grade endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS) and highly malignant undifferentiated uterine sarcomas (UUS). UUS is considered a poorly defined group of aggressive tumors and is often seen as a diagnosis of exclusion after ESS and leiomyosarcoma (LMS) have been ruled out. We performed a comprehensive analysis of gene expression, copy number variation, point mutations, and immune cell infiltrates in the largest series to date of all major types of uterine sarcomas to shed light on the biology of UUS and to identify potential novel therapeutic targets. We show that UUS tumors have a distinct molecular profile from LMS and ESS. Gene expression and immunohistochemical analyses revealed the presence of high numbers of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in UUS, which makes UUS patients suitable candidates for therapies targeting TAMs. Our results show a high genomic instability of UUS and downregulation of several TP53-mediated tumor suppressor genes, such as NDN, CDH11, and NDRG4. Moreover, we demonstrate that UUS carry somatic mutations in several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes implicated in RAS/PI3K/AKT/mTOR, ERBB3, and Hedgehog signaling.
Joanna Przybyl, Magdalena Kowalewska, Anna Quattrone, Barbara Dewaele, Vanessa Vanspauwen, Sushama Varma, Sujay Vennam, Aaron M. Newman, Michal Swierniak, Elwira Bakuła-Zalewska, Janusz A. Siedlecki, Mariusz Bidzinski, Jan Cools, Matt van de Rijn, Maria Debiec-Rychter
Metabolic dysregulation promotes cancer growth through not only energy production, but also epigenetic reprogramming. Here, we report that a critical node in methyl donor metabolism, nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), ranked among the most consistently overexpressed metabolism genes in glioblastoma relative to normal brain. NNMT was preferentially expressed by mesenchymal glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). NNMT depletes S-adenosyl methionine (SAM), a methyl donor generated from methionine. GSCs contained lower levels of methionine, SAM, and nicotinamide, but they contained higher levels of oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) than differentiated tumor cells. In concordance with the poor prognosis associated with DNA hypomethylation in glioblastoma, depletion of methionine, a key upstream methyl group donor, shifted tumors toward a mesenchymal phenotype and accelerated tumor growth. Targeting NNMT expression reduced cellular proliferation, self-renewal, and in vivo tumor growth of mesenchymal GSCs. Supporting a mechanistic link between NNMT and DNA methylation, targeting NNMT reduced methyl donor availability, methionine levels, and unmethylated cytosine, with increased levels of DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 and DNMT3A. Supporting the clinical significance of these findings, NNMT portended poor prognosis for glioblastoma patients. Collectively, our findings support NNMT as a GSC-specific therapeutic target in glioblastoma by disrupting oncogenic DNA hypomethylation.
Jinkyu Jung, Leo J.Y. Kim, Xiuxing Wang, Qiulian Wu, Tanwarat Sanvoranart, Christopher G. Hubert, Briana C. Prager, Lisa C. Wallace, Xun Jin, Stephen C. Mack, Jeremy N. Rich
Advanced cancer induces fundamental changes in metabolism and promotes cardiac atrophy and heart failure. We discovered systemic insulin deficiency in cachectic cancer patients. Similarly, mice with advanced B16F10 melanoma (B16F10-TM) or colon 26 carcinoma (C26-TM) displayed decreased systemic insulin associated with marked cardiac atrophy, metabolic impairment, and function. B16F10 and C26 tumors decrease systemic insulin via high glucose consumption, lowering pancreatic insulin production and producing insulin-degrading enzyme. As tumor cells consume glucose in an insulin-independent manner, they shift glucose away from cardiomyocytes. Since cardiomyocytes in both tumor models remained insulin responsive, low-dose insulin supplementation by subcutaneous implantation of insulin-releasing pellets improved cardiac glucose uptake, atrophy, and function, with no adverse side effects. In addition, by redirecting glucose to the heart in addition to other organs, the systemic insulin treatment lowered glucose usage by the tumor and thereby decreased tumor growth and volume. Insulin corrected the cancer-induced reduction in cardiac Akt activation and the subsequent overactivation of the proteasome and autophagy. Thus, cancer-induced systemic insulin depletion contributes to cardiac wasting and failure and may promote tumor growth. Low-dose insulin supplementation attenuates these processes and may be supportive in cardio-oncologic treatment concepts.
James T. Thackeray, Stefan Pietzsch, Britta Stapel, Melanie Ricke-Hoch, Chun-Wei Lee, Jens P. Bankstahl, Michaela Scherr, Jörg Heineke, Gesine Scharf, Arash Haghikia, Frank M. Bengel, Denise Hilfiker-Kleiner
Brateil Badal, Alexander Solovyov, Serena Di Cecilia, Joseph Minhow Chan, Li-Wei Chang, Ramiz Iqbal, Iraz T. Aydin, Geena S. Rajan, Chen Chen, Franco Abbate, Kshitij S. Arora, Antoine Tanne, Stephen B. Gruber, Timothy M. Johnson, Douglas R. Fullen, Leon Raskin, Robert Phelps, Nina Bhardwaj, Emily Bernstein, David T. Ting, Georg Brunner, Eric E. Schadt, Benjamin D. Greenbaum, Julide Tok Celebi
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