Purpose The immunological profile of early-stage breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant PARP inhibitors has not been described. The aim of this study was to delineate the changes in the tumor immune microenvironment (TiME) induced by talazoparib. Methods Patients with operable germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic variant (gBRCA1/2+) breast cancer were enrolled in a feasibility study of neoadjuvant talazoparib. Thirteen patients who received 8 weeks of neoadjuvant talazoparib were available for analysis, including 11 paired pre- and post-talazoparib core biopsies. Treatment related changes in tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were examined and immune cell phenotypes and their spatial distribution in the TiME were identified and quantified by multiplex immunofluorescence using a panel of 6 biomarkers (CD3, CD8, CD68, PD-1, PD-L1, and CK). Results Neoadjuvant talazoparib significantly increased infiltrating intratumoral and stromal T cell and cytotoxic T cell density. There was no difference in PD-1 or PD-L1 immune cell phenotypes in the pre- and post-talazoparib specimens and PD-L1 expression in tumor cells was rare in this cohort. Spatial analysis demonstrated that pre-talazoparib interactions between macrophages and T-cells may correlate with pathologic complete response. Conclusions This is the first study with phenotyping to characterize the immune response to neoadjuvant talazoparib in gBRCA1/2+ breast cancer patients. These findings support an emerging role for PARP inhibitors in enhancing tumor immunogenicity. Further investigation of combinatorial strategies is warranted with agents that exploit the immunomodulatory effects of PARP inhibitors on the TiME.

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