Checkpoint blockade against CTLA-4 or PD-1 has demonstrated that an endogenous immune response can be stimulated to elicit durable regressions in advanced cancer, but these dramatic responses are currently confined to a minority of patients. This outcome is probably due in part to the complex network of immunosuppressive pathways present in advanced tumors, which are unlikely to be overcome by intervention at a single signaling checkpoint, requiring a counter-directed network of pro-immunity signals. Here we demonstrate a combination immunotherapy that recruits a diverse set of innate and adaptive immune effectors, enabling robust elimination of tumor burdens that to our knowledge have not previously been curable by treatments relying on endogenous immunity. Maximal anti-tumor efficacy required four components: a tumor antigen targeting antibody, an extended half-life IL-2, anti-PD-1, and a powerful T-cell vaccine. This combination elicited durable cures in a majority of animals, formed immunological memory in multiple transplanted tumor models, and induced sustained tumor regression in an autochthonous BRrafV600E/Pten-/- melanoma model. Multiple innate immune cell subsets, CD8+ T-cells, and cross-presenting dendritic cells were critical to successful therapy. Treatment induced high levels of intratumoral inflammatory cytokines and immune cell infiltration, enhanced antibody-mediated tumor antigen uptake, and promoted antigen spreading. These results demonstrate the capacity of an elicited endogenous immune response to destroy large, established tumors and elucidate essential characteristics of combination immunotherapies capable of curing a majority of tumors in experimental settings typically viewed as intractable.
Citation Format: Kelly Dare Moynihan, Cary Opel, Gregory Szeto, Alice Tzeng, Zhu Eric, Jesse Engreitz, Williams Robert, Kavya Rakhra, Michael Zhang, Adrienne Rothschilds, Sudha Kumari, Ryan L. Kelly, Byron Kwan, Wuhbet Abraham, Kevin Hu, Naveen Mehta, Monique Kauke, Heikyung Suh, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, K. Dane Wittrup, Darrell J. Irvine. Eradication of large established tumors with combination immunotherapy engaging innate and adaptive immunity. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference on Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy; 2016 Oct 20-23; Boston, MA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2017;5(3 Suppl):Abstract nr A52.