Shaping the Tumor Stroma and Sparking Immune Activation by CD40 and 4-1BB Signaling Induced by an Armed Oncolytic Virus

Eriksson E, Milenova I, Wenthe J, Ståhle M, Leja-Jarblad J, Ullenhag G, Dimberg A, Moreno R, Alemany R, Loskog A

Clin. Cancer Res. 23 (19) 5846-5857 [2017-10-01; online 2017-05-23]

Purpose: Pancreatic cancer is a severe indication with short expected survival despite surgery and/or combination chemotherapeutics. Checkpoint blockade antibodies are approved for several cancer indications, but pancreatic cancer has remained refractory. However, there are clinical data suggesting that stimulation of the CD40 pathway may be of interest for these patients. Oncolytic viruses armed with immunostimulatory genes represent an interesting approach. Herein, we present LOAd703, a designed adenovirus armed with trimerized CD40L and 4-1BBL that activates the CD40 and 4-1BB pathways, respectively. As many cells in the tumor stroma, including stellate cells and the infiltrating immune cells, express CD40 and some 4-1BB, we hypothesize that LOAd703 activates immunity and simultaneously modulates the biology of the tumor stroma.Experimental Design: Tumor, stellate, endothelial, and immune cells were infected by LOAd703 and investigated by flow cytometry, proteomics, and functional analyses.Results: LOAd703-infected pancreatic cell lines were killed by oncolysis, and the virus was more effective than standard-of-care gemcitabine. In in vivo xenograft models, LOAd703 efficiently reduced established tumors and could be combined with gemcitabine for additional effect. Infected stellate and tumor cells reduced factors that promote tumor growth (Spp-1, Gal-3, HGF, TGFβ and collagen type I), while chemokines were increased. Molecules involved in lymphocyte migration were upregulated on infected endothelial cells. Dendritic cells were robustly stimulated by LOAd703 to produce costimulators, cytokines and chemokines, and such DCs potently expanded both antigen-specific T cells and NK cells.Conclusions: LOAd703 is a potent immune activator that modulates the stroma to support antitumor responses. Clin Cancer Res; 23(19); 5846-57. ©2017 AACR.

Affiliated researcher

PubMed 28536305

DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-17-0285

Crossref 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-17-0285

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