Cancer immunology research

Tumoricidal Effects of Macrophage-Activating Immunotherapy in a Murine Model of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma.

PMID 25941352


Myeloma remains a virtually incurable malignancy. The inevitable evolution of multidrug-resistant clones and widespread clonal heterogeneity limit the potential of traditional and novel therapies to eliminate minimal residual disease (MRD), a reliable harbinger of relapse. Here, we show potent anti-myeloma activity of macrophage-activating immunotherapy (αCD40+CpG) that resulted in prolongation of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in an immunocompetent, preclinically validated, transplant-based model of multidrug-resistant, relapsed/refractory myeloma (t-Vκ*MYC). αCD40+CpG was effective in vivo in the absence of cytolytic natural killer, T, or B cells and resulted in expansion of M1-polarized (cytolytic/tumoricidal) macrophages in the bone marrow. Moreover, we show that concurrent loss/inhibition of Tpl2 kinase (Cot, Map3k8), a MAP3K that is recruited to activated CD40 complex and regulates macrophage activation/cytokine production, potentiated direct, ex vivo anti-myeloma tumoricidal activity of αCD40+CpG-activated macrophages, promoted production of antitumor cytokine IL12 in vitro and in vivo, and synergized with αCD40+CpG to further prolong PFS and OS in vivo. Our results support the combination of αCD40-based macrophage activation and TPL2 inhibition for myeloma immunotherapy. We propose that αCD40-mediated activation of innate antitumor immunity may be a promising approach to control/eradicate MRD following cytoreduction with traditional or novel anti-myeloma therapies.