In this work, we have explored natural unmodified low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL) as selective delivery vectors in colorectal cancer therapy. We show in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo (NanoSPECT/CT) in the CT-26 mice colorectal cancer model that LDLs are mainly taken up by cancer cells, while HDLs are preferentially taken up by macrophages. We loaded LDLs with cisplatin and HDLs with the heat shock protein-70 inhibitor AC1LINNC, turning them into a pair of “Trojan horses” delivering drugs selectively to their target cells as demonstrated in vitro in human colorectal cancer cells and macrophages, and in vivo. Coupling of the drugs to lipoproteins and stability was assessed by mass and raman spectrometry analysis. Cisplatin vectorized in LDLs led to better tumor growth suppression with strongly reduced adverse effects such as a renal or liver toxicity. AC1LINNC vectorized into HDLs induced a strong oxidative burst in macrophages and innate anti-cancer immune response. Cumulative anti-tumor effect was observed for both drug-loaded lipoproteins. Altogether, our data show that lipoproteins from patient’s blood can be used as natural nanocarriers allowing cell specific targeting, paving the way toward more efficient, safer and personalized use of chemo-and immunotherapeutic drugs in cancer.
Tarik Hadi, Christophe Ramseyer, Thomas Gautier, Pierre-Simon Bellaye, Tatiana Lopez, Antonin Schmitt, Foley Sarah, Semen Yesylevskyy, Thibault Minervini, Romain Douhard, Lucile Dondaine, Lil Proukhnitzky, Samir Messaoudi, Maeva Wendremaire, Mathieu Moreau, Fabrice Neiers, Bertrand Collin, Franck Denat, Laurent Lagrost, Carmen Garrido, Frederic Lirussi
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a fatal human cancer in part because GBM stem cells are resistant to therapy and recurrence is inevitable. Previously, we demonstrated Zika virus (ZIKV) targets GBM stem cells and prevents death of mice with gliomas. Here, we evaluated the immunological basis of ZIKV-mediated protection against GBM. Introduction of ZIKV into the brain tumor increases recruitment of CD8+ T and myeloid cells to the tumor microenvironment. CD8+ T cells are required for ZIKV-dependent tumor clearance, as survival benefits are lost with CD8+ T cell depletion. Moreover, while anti-PD1 antibody therapy alone moderately improves tumor survival, when co-administered with ZIKV, survival increases. ZIKV-mediated tumor clearance also results in durable protection against syngeneic tumor re-challenge, which also depends on CD8+ T cells. To address safety concerns, we generated an immune-sensitized ZIKV strain, which is effective alone or in combination with immunotherapy. Thus, oncolytic ZIKV treatment can be leveraged by immunotherapies, which may prompt combination treatment paradigms for adult GBM patients.
Sharmila Nair, Luciano Mazzoccoli, Arijita Jash, Jennifer Govero, Sachendra S. Bais, Tong Hu, Camila R. Fontes-Garfias, Chao Shan, Hideho Okada, Sujan Shresta, Jeremy N. Rich, Pei-Yong Shi, Michael S. Diamond, Milan G. Chheda
BACKGROUND Surgery remains the frontline therapy for patients with localized clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); however, 20%–40% recur. Angiogenesis inhibitors have improved survival in metastatic patients and may result in responses in the neoadjuvant setting. The impact of these agents on the tumor genetic heterogeneity or the immune milieu is largely unknown. This phase II study was designed to evaluate safety, response, and effect on tumor tissue of neoadjuvant pazopanib.METHODS ccRCC patients with localized disease received pazopanib (800 mg daily; median 8 weeks), followed by nephrectomy. Five tumors were examined for mutations by whole exome sequencing from samples collected before therapy and at nephrectomy. These samples underwent RNA sequencing; 17 samples were available for posttreatment assessment.RESULTS Twenty-one patients were enrolled. The overall response rate was 8 of 21 (38%). No patients with progressive disease. At 1-year, response-free survival and overall survival was 83% and 89%, respectively. The most frequent grade 3 toxicity was hypertension (33%, 7 of 21). Sequencing revealed strong concordance between pre- and posttreatment samples within individual tumors, suggesting tumors harbor stable core profiles. However, a reduction in private mutations followed treatment, suggesting a selective process favoring enrichment of driver mutations.CONCLUSION Neoadjuvant pazopanib is safe and active in ccRCC. Future genomic analyses may enable the segregation of driver and passenger mutations. Furthermore, tumor infiltrating immune cells persist during therapy, suggesting that pazopanib can be combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors without dampening the immune response.FUNDING Support was provided by Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline as part of an investigator-initiated study.
Christopher G. Wood, James E. Ferguson III, Joel S. Parker, Dominic T. Moore, Jennifer G. Whisenant, Susan J. Maygarden, Eric M. Wallen, William Y. Kim, Mathew I. Milowsky, Kathryn E. Beckermann, Nancy B. Davis, Scott M. Haake, Jose A. Karam, Dante S. Bortone, Benjamin G. Vincent, Thomas Powles, W. Kimryn Rathmell
Caspase 8 (CASP8) is one of the most frequently mutated genes in head and neck squamous carcinomas (HNSCC), and CASP8 mutations are associated with poor survival. The distribution of these mutations in HNSCC suggests that they are likely to be inactivating. Inhibition of CASP8 has been reported to sensitize cancer cells to necroptosis, a regulated cell death mechanism. Here, we show that knockdown of CASP8 renders HNSCCs susceptible to necroptosis by a second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (SMAC) mimetic, Birinapant, in combination with pan-caspase inhibitors zVAD FMK or Emricasan and radiation. In a syngeneic mouse model of oral cancer, Birinapant, particularly when combined with radiation delayed tumor growth and enhanced survival under CASP8 loss. Exploration of molecular underpinnings of necroptosis sensitivity confirmed that the level of functional receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 3 (RIP3) determines susceptibility to this mode of death. Although an in vitro screen revealed that low RIP3 levels render many HNSCC cell lines resistant to necroptosis, patient tumors maintain RIP3 expression and should therefore remain sensitive. Collectively, these results suggest that targeting the necroptosis pathway with SMAC mimetics, especially in combination with radiation, may be relevant therapeutically in HNSCC with compromised CASP8 status, provided that RIP3 function is maintained.
Burak Uzunparmak, Meng Gao, Antje Lindemann, Kelly Erikson, Li Wang, Eric Lin, Steven J. Frank, Frederico O. Gleber-Netto, Mei Zhao, Heath D. Skinner, Jared M. Newton, Andrew G. Sikora, Jeffrey N. Myers, Curtis R. Pickering
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
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