Intratumoral immune infiltrate was recently reported in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). However, what tumor-intrinsic factors dictate GIST immunogenicity is still largely undefined. To shed light on this issue a large cohort (82 samples) of primary untreated GIST, representative of major clinicopathological variables, was investigated by an integrated immunohistochemical, transcriptomic and computational approach. Our results indicate that tumor genotype, location and malignant potential concur to shape the immunogenicity of primary naïve GIST. Immune infiltration was greater in overt GIST than in lesions with limited malignant potential (miniGIST), in KIT/PDGFRA mutated than in KIT/PDGFRA wild-type tumors and in PDGFRA versus KIT mutated GIST. Within the KIT mutated subset, a higher degree of immune colonization was detected in the intestine. Immune hot tumors showed expression patterns compatible with a potentially proficient but curbed antigen-specific immunity, hinting at sensitivity to immunomodulatory treatments. Poorly infiltrated GIST, primarily KIT/PDGFRA wild-type intestinal tumors, showed activation of Hedgehog and WNT/β-catenin immune excluding pathways. This finding discloses a potential therapeutic vulnerability, as the targeting of these pathways might prove effective by both inhibiting pro-oncogenic signals and fostering anti-tumor immune responses. Finally, an intriguing anticorrelation between immune infiltration and ANO1/DOG1 expression was observed, suggesting an immunomodulatory activity for anoctamin-1.
Daniela Gasparotto, Marta Sbaraglia, Sabrina Rossi, Davide Baldazzi, Monica Brenca, Alessia Mondello, Federica Nardi, Dominga Racanelli, Matilde Cacciatore, Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, Roberta Maestro
Engineering T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) specific for antigens on hematological cancers has yielded remarkable clinical responses, but with solid tumors, benefit has been more limited. This may reflect lack of suitable target antigens, immune evasion mechanisms in malignant cells, and/or lack of T cell infiltration into tumors. An alternative approach, to circumvent these problems, is targeting the tumor vasculature rather than the malignant cells directly. CLEC14A is a glycoprotein selectively overexpressed on the vasculature of many solid human cancers and is, therefore, of considerable interest as a target antigen. Here, we generated CARs from 2 CLEC14A-specific antibodies and expressed them in T cells. In vitro studies demonstrated that, when exposed to their target antigen, these engineered T cells proliferate, release IFN-γ, and mediate cytotoxicity. Infusing CAR engineered T cells into healthy mice showed no signs of toxicity, yet these T cells targeted tumor tissue and significantly inhibited tumor growth in 3 mouse models of cancer (Rip-Tag2, mPDAC, and Lewis lung carcinoma). Reduced tumor burden also correlated with significant loss of CLEC14A expression and reduced vascular density within malignant tissues. These data suggest the tumor vasculature can be safely and effectively targeted with CLEC14A-specific CAR T cells, offering a potent and widely applicable therapy for cancer.
Xiaodong Zhuang, Federica Maione, Joseph Robinson, Michael Bentley, Baksho Kaul, Katharine Whitworth, Neeraj Jumbu, Elizabeth Jinks, Jonas Bystrom, Pietro Gabriele, Elisabetta Garibaldi, Elena Delmastro, Zsuzsanna Nagy, David Gilham, Enrico Giraudo, Roy Bicknell, Steven P. Lee
Patient-derived organoid models are proving to be a powerful platform for both basic and translational studies. Here we conduct a methodical analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor organoid drug response in paired PDX and PDX-derived organoid (PXO) models grown under WNT-free culture conditions. We report a specific relationship between Area Under the Curve value of organoid drug dose-response and in vivo tumor growth, irrespective of the drug treatment. In addition, we analyzed the glycome of PDX and PXO models and demonstrate that PXOs recapitulate the in vivo glycan landscape. In addition, we identify a core set of 57 N-glycans detected in all 10 models that represent 50-94% of the relative abundance of all N-glycans detected in each of the model. Lastly, we developed a secreted biomarker discovery pipeline using media supernatant of organoid cultures and identified potentially new extracellular vesicles (EV) protein markers. We validated our findings using plasma samples from patients with PDAC, benign gastrointestinal diseases, and chronic pancreatitis, and discover that four EV proteins are potential circulating biomarkers for PDAC. Thus, we demonstrate the utility of organoid cultures to not only model in vivo drug responses but also serve as a powerful platform for discovering clinically-actionable serologic biomarkers.
Ling Huang, Bruno Bockorny, Indranil Paul, Dipikaa Akshinthala, Pierre-Olivier Frappart, Omar Gandarilla, Arindam Bose, Veronica Sanchez-Gonzalez, Emily Rouse, Sylvain Lehoux, Nicole Pandell, Christine Lim, John G. Clohessy, Joseph E. Grossman, Raul S. Gonzalez, Sofia Perea, George Daaboul, Mandeep Sawhney, Steven D. Freedman, Alexander Kleger, Richard D. Cummings, Andrew Emili, Lakshmi Muthuswamy, Manuel Hidalgo, Senthil Muthuswamy
Schwannomas are tumors of the Schwann cells that cause chronic pain, numbness, and potentially life-threatening impairment of vital organs. Despite the identification of causative genes including NF2 (Merlin), INI1/SMARCB1, and LZTR1, the exact molecular mechanism of schwannoma development is still poorly understood. Several studies have identified Merlin as a key regulator of the Hippo, MAPK, and PI3K signaling pathways, however definitive evidence demonstrating the importance of these pathways in schwannoma pathogenesis is absent. Here, we provide direct genetic evidence that dysregulation of the Hippo pathway in the Schwann cell lineage causes development of multiple Schwannomas in mice. We found that canonical Hippo signaling through the effectors YAP/TAZ is required for schwannomagenesis and that MAPK signaling modifies schwannoma formation. Furthermore, co-targeting YAP/TAZ transcriptional activity and MAPK signaling demonstrated a synergistic therapeutic effect on schwannoma. Our new model provides a tractable platform to dissect the molecular mechanisms underpinning schwannoma formation and the role of combinatorial targeted therapy in schwannoma treatment.
Zhiguo Chen, Stephen Li, Juan Mo, Eric T. Hawley, Yong Wang, Yongzheng He, Jean-Philippe Brosseau, Tracey Shipman, D. Wade Clapp, Thomas J. Carroll, Lu Q. Le
Obesity predisposes to cancer and a virtual universality of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the impact of hepatic steatosis on liver metastasis is enigmatic. We find that while control mice were relatively resistant to hepatic metastasis, those which were lipodystrophic or obese, with NAFLD, had a dramatic increase in breast cancer and melanoma liver metastases. NAFLD promotes liver metastasis by reciprocal activation initiated by tumor-induced triglyceride lipolysis in juxtaposed hepatocytes. The lipolytic products are transferred to cancer cells via fatty acid transporter protein 1, where they are metabolized by mitochondrial oxidation to promote tumor growth. The histology of human liver metastasis indicated the same occurs in humans. Furthermore, comparison of isolates of normal and fatty liver established that steatotic lipids had enhanced tumor-stimulating capacity. Normalization of glucose metabolism by metformin did not reduce steatosis-induced metastasis, establishing the process is not mediated by the metabolic syndrome. Alternatively, eradication of NAFLD in lipodystrophic mice by adipose tissue transplantation reduced breast cancer metastasis to that of control mice, indicating the steatosis-induced predisposition is reversible.
Yongjia Li, Xinming Su, Nidhi Rohatgi, Yan Zhang, Jonathan R. Brestoff, Kooresh I. Shoghi, Yalin Xu, Clay F. Semenkovich, Charles A. Harris, Lindsay L. Peterson, Katherine N. Weibaecher, Steven L. Teitelbaum, Wei Zou
In prior studies, we delineated the landscape of neoantigens arising from nonsynonymous point mutations in a murine pancreatic cancer model, Panc02. We developed a peptide vaccine by targeting neoantigens predicted using a pipeline that incorporates the MHC binding algorithm NetMHC. The vaccine, when combined with immune checkpoint modulators, elicited a robust neoepitope-specific antitumor immune response and led to tumor clearance. However, only a small fraction of the predicted neoepitopes induced T cell immunity, similarly to that reported for neoantigen vaccines tested in clinical studies. While these studies have used binding affinities to MHC I as surrogates for T cell immunity, this approach does not include spatial information on the mutated residue that is crucial for TCR activation. Here, we investigate conformational alterations in and around the MHC binding groove induced by selected minimal neoepitopes, and we examine the influence of a given mutated residue as a function of its spatial position. We found that structural parameters, including the solvent-accessible surface area (SASA) of the neoepitope and the position and spatial configuration of the mutated residue within the sequence, can be used to improve the prediction of immunogenic neoepitopes for inclusion in cancer vaccines.
Neeha Zaidi, Mariya Soban, Fangluo Chen, Heather Kinkead, Jocelyn Mathew, Mark Yarchoan, Todd D. Armstrong, Shozeb Haider, Elizabeth M. Jaffee
Myeloid cells orchestrate the anti-tumor immune response and influence the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies. We and others have previously shown that interleukin 32 (IL-32) mediates dendritic cell (DC) differentiation and macrophage activation. Here, we demonstrate that IL-32 expression in human melanoma positively correlates with overall survival, response to ICB, and an immune inflamed tumor microenvironment (TME) enriched in mature DC, M1 macrophages and CD8+ T cells. Treatment of B16F10 murine melanomas with IL-32 increased the frequencies of activated, tumor-specific CD8+ T cells, leading to the induction of systemic tumor immunity. Our mechanistic in vivo studies revealed a novel role of IL-32 in activating intra-tumoral DC and macrophages to act in concert to prime CD8+ T cells and recruit them into the TME through CCL5. Thereby, IL-32 treatment reduced tumor growth and rendered ICB resistant B16F10 tumors responsive to anti-PD-1 therapy without toxicity. Furthermore, increased baseline IL-32 gene expression was associated with response to nivolumab and pembrolizumab in two independent human melanoma patient cohorts, implying IL-32 as a predictive biomarker for anti-PD-1 therapy. Collectively, this study suggests IL-32 as a potent adjuvant in immunotherapy to enhance the efficacy of ICB to patients with non-T cell inflamed TME.
Thomas Gruber, Mirela Kremenovic, Hassan Sadozai, Nives Rombini, Lukas Baeriswyl, Fabienne Maibach, Robert L. Modlin, Michel Gilliet, Diego Von Werdt, Robert E. Hunger, Giulia Parisi, Gabriel Abril-Rodriguez, Antoni Ribas, Mirjam Schenk
Metabolic reprogramming dictates the fate and function of stimulated T cells, yet these pathways can be suppressed in T cells in tumor microenvironments. We previously showed that glycolytic and mitochondrial adaptations directly contribute to reducing the effector function of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Here we define the role of these metabolic pathways in the activation and effector functions of CD8+ RCC TILs. CD28 costimulation plays a key role in augmenting T cell activation and metabolism, and is antagonized by the inhibitory and checkpoint immunotherapy receptors CTLA4 and PD-1. While RCC CD8+ TILs were activated at a low level when stimulated through the T cell receptor alone, addition of CD28 costimulation greatly enhanced activation, function, and proliferation. CD28 costimulation reprogrammed RCC CD8+ TIL metabolism with increased glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, possibly through upregulation of GLUT3. Mitochondria also fused to a greater degree, with higher membrane potential and overall mass. These phenotypes were dependent on glucose metabolism, as the glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose both prevented changes to mitochondria and suppressed RCC CD8+ TIL activation and function. These data show that CD28 costimulation can restore RCC CD8+ TIL metabolism and function through rescue of T cell glycolysis that supports mitochondrial mass and activity.
Kathryn E. Beckermann, Rachel Hongo, Xiang Ye, Kirsten Young, Katie Carbonell, Diana C. Contreras Healey, Peter J. Siska, Sierra Barone, Caroline E. Roe, Christof C. Smith, Benjamin G. Vincent, Frank M. Mason, Jonathan M. Irish, W. Kimryn Rathmell, Jeffrey C. Rathmell
Granulosa cell tumors (GCT) are rare ovarian malignancies. Due to the lack of effective treatment in late relapse, there is a clear unmet need for novel therapies. Forkhead Box L2 (FOXL2) is a protein mainly expressed in granulosa cells (GC) and therefore is a rational therapeutic target. Since we identified tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as the main immune population within GCT, TILs from 11 GCT patients were expanded, and their phenotypes were interrogated to determine that T cells acquired late antigen-experienced phenotypes and lower levels of PD1 expression. Importantly, TILs maintained their functionality after ex vivo expansion as they vigorously reacted against autologous tumors (100% of patients) and against FOXL2 peptides (57.1% of patients). To validate the relevance of FOXL2 as a target for immune therapy, we developed a plasmid DNA vaccine (FoxL2–tetanus toxin; FoxL2-TT) by fusing Foxl2 cDNA with the immune-enhancing domain of TT. Mice immunization with FoxL2-TT controlled growth of FOXL2-expressing ovarian (BR5) and breast (4T1) cancers in a T cell–mediated manner. Combination of anti–PD-L1 with FoxL2-TT vaccination further reduced tumor progression and improved mouse survival without affecting the female reproductive system and pregnancy. Together, our results suggest that FOXL2 immune targeting can produce substantial long-term clinical benefits. Our study can serve as a foundation for trials testing immunotherapeutic approaches in patients with ovarian GCT.
Stefano Pierini, Janos L. Tanyi, Fiona Simpkins, Erin George, Mireia Uribe-Herranz, Ronny Drapkin, Robert Burger, Mark A. Morgan, Andrea Facciabene
New strategies are needed to enhance the efficacy of anti-programmed cell death protein (PD-1) antibody (Ab) in cancer. Here, we report that inhibiting palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1), a target of CQ derivatives like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), enhances the antitumor efficacy of anti-PD-1 Ab in melanoma. The combination resulted tumor growth impairment and improved survival in mouse models. Genetic suppression of core autophagy genes, but not Ppt1, in cancer cells reduced priming and cytotoxic capacity of primed T cells. Exposure of antigen primed T cells to macrophage conditioned medium derived from macrophages treated with PPT1 inhibitors enhanced melanoma specific killing. Genetic or chemical PPT1 inhibition resulted an M2 to M1 phenotype switching in macrophages. The combination was associated with a reduction in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor. Ppt1 inhibition by HCQ, or DC661, induced cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), stimulator of interferon genes (STING), tank-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) pathway activation and the secretion of interferon β (IFN-β) in macrophages which was a key component for augmented T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Genetic Ppt1 inhibition produced similar findings. These data provide the rationale for a melanoma clinical trial testing this new immunotherapy combination and may also be effective in other cancers.
Gaurav Sharma, Rani Ojha, Estela Noguera-Ortega, Vito W. Rebecca, John Attanasio, Shujing Liu, Shengfu Piao, Jennifer J. Lee, Michael C. Nicastri, Sandra L. Harper, Amruta Ronghe, Vaibhav Jain, Jeffrey D. Winkler, David W. Speicher, Jerome Mastio, Phyllis A Gimotty, Xiaowei Xu, E. John Wherry, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, Ravi K. Amaravadi
No posts were found with this tag.