Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII

Protection from tumor recurrence following adoptive immunotherapy varies with host conditioning regimen despite initial regression of autochthonous murine brain tumors.

PMID 25408469


Adoptive T cell transfer (ACT) has achieved clinical success in treating established cancer, particularly in combination with lymphodepleting regimens. Our group previously demonstrated that ACT following whole-body irradiation (WBI) promotes high-level T cell accumulation, regression of established brain tumors, and long-term protection from tumor recurrence in a mouse model of SV40 T antigen-induced choroid plexus tumors. Here we asked whether an approach that can promote strong donor T-cell responses in the absence of WBI might also produce this dramatic and durable tumor elimination following ACT. Agonist anti-CD40 antibody can enhance antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses and has shown clinical efficacy as a monotherapy in the setting of cancer. We show that anti-CD40 conditioning promotes rapid accumulation of tumor-specific donor CD8(+) T cells in the brain and regression of autochthonous T antigen-induced choroid plexus tumors, similar to WBI. Despite a significant increase in the lifespan, tumors eventually recurred in anti-CD40-conditioned mice coincident with loss of T-cell persistence from both the brain and lymphoid organs. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells from the peripheral lymphoid organs of WBI-conditioned recipients failed to promote tumor recurrence, but donor cells persisted in the brains long-term in CD8-depleted mice. These results demonstrate that anti-CD40 conditioning effectively enhances ACT-mediated acute elimination of autochthonous tumors, but suggest that mechanisms associated with WBI conditioning, such as the induction of long-lived T cells, may be critical for protection from tumor recurrence.