Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

T-cell subsets in peripheral blood and tumors of patients treated with oncolytic adenoviruses.

PMID 25655312


The quality of the antitumor immune response is decisive when developing new immunotherapies for cancer. Oncolytic adenoviruses cause a potent immunogenic stimulus and arming them with costimulatory molecules reshapes the immune response further. We evaluated peripheral blood T-cell subsets of 50 patients with refractory solid tumors undergoing treatment with oncolytic adenovirus. These data were compared to changes in antiviral and antitumor T cells, treatment efficacy, overall survival, and T-cell subsets in pre- and post-treatment tumor biopsies. Treatment caused a significant (P < 0.0001) shift in T-cell subsets in blood, characterized by a proportional increase of CD8(+) cells, and decrease of CD4(+) cells. Concomitant treatment with cyclophosphamide and temozolomide resulted in less CD4(+) decrease (P = 0.041) than cyclophosphamide only. Interestingly, we saw a correlation between T-cell changes in peripheral blood and the tumor site. This correlation was positive for CD8(+) and inverse for CD4(+) cells. These findings give insight to the interconnections between peripheral blood and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) populations regarding oncolytic virotherapy. In particular, our data suggest that induction of T-cell response is not sufficient for clinical response in the context of immunosuppressive tumors, and that peripheral blood T cells have a complicated and potentially misleading relationship with TILs.