Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) often presents with metastases and ascites. Granulocytic myeloid–derived suppressor cells are an immature population that impairs antitumor immunity. Since suppressive granulocytes in the ascites of patients with newly diagnosed EOC were morphologically mature, we hypothesized that PMN were rendered suppressive in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Circulating PMN from patients were not suppressive but acquired a suppressor phenotype (defined as ≥1 log10 reduction of anti-CD3/CD28–stimulated T cell proliferation) after ascites supernatant exposure. Ascites supernatants (20 of 31 supernatants) recapitulated the suppressor phenotype in PMN from healthy donors. T cell proliferation was restored with ascites removal and restimulation. PMN suppressors also inhibited T cell activation and cytokine production. PMN suppressors completely suppressed proliferation in naive, central memory, and effector memory T cells and in engineered tumor antigen–specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, while antigen-specific cell lysis was unaffected. Inhibition of complement C3 activation and PMN effector functions, including CR3 signaling, protein synthesis, and vesicular trafficking, abrogated the PMN suppressor phenotype. Moreover, malignant effusions from patients with various metastatic cancers also induced the C3-dependent PMN suppressor phenotype. These results point to PMN impairing T cell expansion and activation in the TME and the potential for complement inhibition to abrogate this barrier to antitumor immunity.
Kelly L. Singel, Tiffany R. Emmons, ANM Nazmul H. Khan, Paul C. Mayor, Shichen Shen, Jerry T. Wong, Kayla Morrell, Kevin H. Eng, Jaron Mark, Richard B. Bankert, Junko Matsuzaki, Richard C. Koya, Anna M. Blom, Kenneth R. McLeish, Jun Qu, Sanjay Ram, Kirsten B. Moysich, Scott I. Abrams, Kunle Odunsi, Emese Zsiros, Brahm H. Segal
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.