Liljenfeldt L, Gkirtzimanaki K, Vyrla D, Svensson E, Loskog AS, Eliopoulos AG
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 63 (3) 273-282 [2014-03-00; online 2013-12-20]
Bystander immune activation by chemotherapy has recently gained extensive interest and provided support for the clinical use of chemotherapeutic agents in combination with immune enhancers. The CD40 ligand (CD40L; CD154) is a potent regulator of the anti-tumor immune response and recombinant adenovirus (RAd)-mediated CD40L gene therapy has been effective in various cancer models and in man. In this study we have assessed the combined effect of local RAd-CD40L and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) administration on a syngeneic MB49 mouse bladder tumor model. Whereas MB49 cells implanted into immunocompetent mice responded poorly to RAd-CD40L or 5-FU alone, administration of both agents dramatically decreased tumor growth, increased survival of the mice and induced systemic MB49-specific immunity. This combination treatment was ineffective in athymic nude mice, highlighting an important role for T cell mediated anti-tumor immunity for full efficacy. 5-FU up-regulated the expression of Fas and immunogenic cell death markers in MB49 cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes from mice receiving RAd-CD40L immunotherapy efficiently lysed 5-FU treated MB49 cells in a Fas ligand-dependent manner. Furthermore, local RAd-CD40L and 5-FU administration induced a shift of myeloid-derived suppressor cell phenotype into a less suppressive population. Collectively, these data suggest that RAd-CD40L gene therapy is a promising adjuvant treatment to 5-FU for the management of bladder cancer.