Background: RXC004, a potent and selective porcupine (PORCN) inhibitor, is being investigated in a safety and tolerability study in cancer patients with solid tumours (CT 2017-000720-98). In addition to the tumour targeting role of RXC004 and other Wnt pathway inhibitors, we present pre-clinical data which suggests further potential for RXC004 in modulating the immune system of the tumour microenvironment. Materials and Methods: To evaluate the potential of a novel porcupine inhibitor, RXC004, as an immunomodulatory anti-cancer agent, sub cutaneous B16F10 melanoma (C57BL/6 mice) and CT26 colorectal (BALB/c mice) murine tumour models were utilised. Mice in both models were treated with RXC004 alone or in combination with mouse anti-PD-1 antibody. Flow cytometry analysis was utilised to measure key immune cell populations in the tumour microenvironment. To probe the underlying mechanism of immune modulation in these models and to provide a link to the emerging clinical data suggesting a role for Wnt pathway activation in immune escape, human monocytic cells were isolated from PBMCs and human dendritic cells were derived in vitro. The Wnt pathway was induced in derived Dendritic cells and expression of IDO was measured. Results: In the murine CT26 model, RXC004 treatment reduced tumour size when dosed in combination with anti-PD-1 antibody, causing regression and cures in some animals. Furthermore, flow cytometry showed RXC004 in combination with anti-PD-1 antibody increased the proportion of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells as well as decreasing FoxP3+ regulatory T cells when compared to the monotherapy anti-PD-1 arm. In a syngeneic murine melanoma B16F10 model, RXC004 monotherapy at a dose of 5mg/kg QD orally significantly inhibited tumour growth, as did RXC004 combined with anti-PD-1. RXC004 had no effect on the proliferation of B16F10 cells in vitro, suggesting this was not caused by the compound directly affecting B16 cell proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis of the B16 tumours showed significant immune modulatory effects in the tumour microenvironment. In addition to mouse model data, Wnt pathway activation in human dendritic cells was shown to increase IDO expression. Conclusion: Taken together, data from murine syngeneic mouse models corroborate literature data suggesting that inhibiting the Wnt pathway may promote the immune response against human cancers.
Citation Format: Inder Bhamra, Richard Armer, Matilda Bingham, Catherine Eagle, Alicia Edmenson Cook, Caroline Phillips, Simon Woodcock. Porcupine inhibitor RXC004 enhances immune response in pre-clinical models of cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3764.