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Los Angeles, CA, United States

Herrmann I.,Micromet AG | Baeuerle P.A.,Micromet AG | Baeuerle P.A.,Micromet Inc | Friedrich M.,Micromet AG | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

With their resistance to genotoxic and anti-proliferative drugs and potential to grow tumors and metastases from very few cells, cancer stem or tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are a severe limitation for the treatment of cancer by conventional therapies. Here, we explored whether human T cells that are redirected via an EpCAM/CD3-bispecific antibody called MT110 can lyse colorectal TICs and prevent tumor growth from TICs. MT110 recognizes EpCAM, a cell adhesion molecule expressed on TICs from diverse human carcinoma, which was recently shown to promote tumor growth through engagement of elements of the wnt pathway. MT110 was highly potent in mediating complete redirected lysis of KRAS-, PI3 kinase- and BRAF-mutated colorectal TICs, as demonstrated in a soft agar assay. In immunodeficient mice, MT110 prevented growth of tumors from a 5,000-fold excess of a minimally tumorigenic TIC dose. T cells engaged by MT110 may provide a potent therapeutic means to eradicate TICs and bulk tumor cells derived thereof. © 2010 Herrmann et al.

Srivastava M.K.,University of California at Los Angeles | Srivastava M.K.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | Zhu L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Zhu L.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are important regulators of immune responses. We evaluated the mechanistic role of MDSC depletion on antigen presenting cell (APC), NK, T cell activities and therapeutic vaccination responses in murine models of lung cancer. Principal Findings: Individual antibody mediated depletion of MDSC (anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G) enhanced the antitumor activity against lung cancer. In comparison to controls, MDSC depletion enhanced the APC activity and increased the frequency and activity of the NK and T cell effectors in the tumor. Compared to controls, the anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G treatment led to increased: (i) CD8 T cells, (ii) NK cells, (iii) CD8 T or NK intracytoplasmic expression of IFNγ, perforin and granzyme (iv) CD3 T cells expressing the activation marker CD107a and CXCR3, (v) reduced CD8 T cell IL-10 production in the tumors (vi) reduced tumor angiogenic (VEGF, CXCL2, CXCL5, and Angiopoietin1&2) but enhanced anti-angiogenic (CXCL9 and CXCL10) expression and (vii) reduced tumor staining of endothelial marker Meca 32. Immunocytochemistry of tumor sections showed reduced Gr1 expressing cells with increased CD3 T cell infiltrates in the anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G groups. MDSC depletion led to a marked inhibition in tumor growth, enhanced tumor cell apoptosis and reduced migration of the tumors from the primary site to the lung compared to controls. Therapeutic vaccination responses were enhanced in vivo following MDSC depletion with 50% of treated mice completely eradicating established tumors. Treated mice that rejected their primary tumors acquired immunological memory against a secondary tumor challenge. The remaining 50% of mice in this group had 20 fold reductions in tumor burden compared to controls. Significance: Our data demonstrate that targeting MDSC can improve antitumor immune responses suggesting a broad applicability of combined immune based approaches against cancer. This multifaceted approach may prove useful against tumors where MDSC play a role in tumor immune evasion.

Andersson A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Srivastava M.K.,University of California at Los Angeles | Harris-White M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Harris-White M.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | And 14 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: We evaluated the utility of chimeric gc homeostatic cytokine, IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc, to restore host APC (antigen presenting cell) and T cell activities in lung cancer. Experimental Design: Utilizing murine lung cancer models we determined the antitumor efficacy of IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc. APC, T cell, cytokine analyses, neutralization of CXCL9, CXCL10, and IFNg were carried out to evaluate the mechanistic differences in the antitumor activity of IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc in comparison to controls. Results: IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc administration inhibited tumor growth and increased survival in lung cancer. Accompanying the tumor growth inhibition were increases in APC and T cell activities. In comparison to controls, IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc treatment of tumor bearing mice led to increased: (i) levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, IFNg, IL-12 but reduced IL-10 and TGFb, (ii) tumor macrophage infiltrates characteristic of M1 phenotype with increased IL-12, iNOS but reduced IL-10 and arginase, (iii) frequencies of T and NK cells, (iv) T cell activation markers CXCR3, CD69 and CD127 low, (v) effector memory T cells, and (vi) T cell cytolytic activity against parental tumor cells. IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc treatment abrogated the tumor induced reduction in splenic functional APC activity to T responder cells. The CXCR3 ligands played an important role in IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc- mediated antitumor activity. Neutralization of CXCL9, CXCL10, or IFNg reduced CXCR3 expressing activated T cells infiltrating the tumor and abrogated IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc-mediated tumor growth inhibition. Conclusions: Our findings show that IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc promotes afferent and efferent antitumor responses in lung cancer. ©2011 AACR.

Zhu L.X.,University of California at Los Angeles | Zhu L.X.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | Davoodi M.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | Srivastava M.K.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 13 more authors.
OncoImmunology | Year: 2015

An immune tolerant tumor microenvironment promotes immune evasion of lung cancer. Agents that antagonize immune tolerance will thus aid the fight against this devastating disease. Members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family modulate the magnitude, duration and phenotype of immune responsiveness to antigens. Among these, GITR expressed on immune cells functions as a key regulator in inflammatory and immune responses. Here, we evaluate the GITR agonistic antibody (DTA-1) as a mono-therapy and in combination with therapeutic vaccination in murine lung cancer models. We found that DTA-1 treatment of tumor-bearing mice increased: (i) the frequency and activation of intratumoral natural killer (NK) cells and T lymphocytes, (ii) the antigen presenting cell (APC) activity in the tumor, and (iii) systemic T-cell specific tumor cell cytolysis. DTA-1 treatment enhanced tumor cell apoptosis as quantified by cleaved caspase-3 staining in the tumors. DTA-1 treatment increased expression of IFNγ, TNFα and IL-12 but reduced IL-10 levels in tumors. Furthermore, increased anti-angiogenic chemokines corresponding with decreased pro-angiogenic chemokine levels correlated with reduced expression of the endothelial cell marker Meca 32 in the tumors of DTA-1 treated mice. In accordance, there was reduced tumor growth (8-fold by weight) in the DTA-1 treatment group. NK cell depletion markedly inhibited the antitumor response elicited by DTA-1. DTA-1 combined with therapeutic vaccination caused tumor rejection in 38% of mice and a 20-fold reduction in tumor burden in the remaining mice relative to control. Mice that rejected tumors following therapy developed immunological memory against subsequent re-challenge. Our data demonstrates GITR agonist antibody activated NK cell and T lymphocyte activity, and enhanced therapeutic vaccination responses against lung cancer. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Sharma S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Sharma S.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | Zhu L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Zhu L.,Molecular Gene Medicine Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets | Year: 2013

Although tumor growth leads to inflammatory responses, the immune system develops tolerance to cancer. One way to break host tolerance to tumors is to activate key immune effector activities. Toward this end, various adjuvants are under investigation in an effort to harness the immune system to overcome tolerance to tumor-associated self-antigens. There is enthusiasm for the use of specific ligands for toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) that play a key role in the innate immune system. TLR3 agonists serve as immune adjuvants because they potently induce innate immune responses by activating dendritic cell (DC) maturation and inflammatory cytokine secretion. These activities facilitate the bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems promoting the expansion of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that destroy cancer cells. TLR3 agonists either alone or in combination with tumor antigens have shown success in terms of enhancing immune responses and eliciting antitumor activity in preclinical models. However, TLR3 agonists can also impact regulatory cells that dampen immune responses. Thus, immune strategies that utilize TLR3 agonists should consider the relative induction of suppressive as well as beneficial antitumor immune activities. Herein, we summarize the TLR3 agonists that will hopefully come to clinical fruition. © Informa UK, Ltd.

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