Anti-PD-1 and Extended Half-life IL2 Synergize for Treatment of Murine Glioblastoma Independent of Host MHC Class I Expression

Cancer immunology research(2023)

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Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults, responsible for approximately 225,000 deaths per year. Despite preclinical successes, most interventions have failed to extend patient survival by more than a few months. Treatment with anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) immune check-point blockade (ICB) monotherapy has been beneficial for malig-nant tumors such as melanoma and lung cancers but has yet to be effectively employed in GBM. This study aimed to determine whether supplementing anti-PD-1 ICB with engineered extended half-life IL2, a potent lymphoproliferative cytokine, could improve outcomes. This combination therapy, subsequently referred to as enhanced checkpoint blockade (ECB), delivered intraperitoneally, reliably cures approximately 50% of C57BL/6 mice bearing ortho-topic GL261 gliomas and extends median survival of the treated cohort. In the CT2A model, characterized as being resistant to CBI, ECB caused a decrease in CT2A tumor volume in half of measured animals similar to what was observed in GL261-bearing mice, promoting a trending survival increase. ECB generates robust immunologic responses, features of which include secondary lym-phoid organ enlargement and increased activation status of both CD4 and CD8 T cells. This immunity is durable, with long-term ECB survivors able to resist GL261 rechallenge. Through employment of depletion strategies, ECB's efficacy was shown to be independent of host MHC class I-restricted antigen presentation but reliant on CD4 T cells. These results demonstrate ECB is efficacious against the GL261 glioma model through an MHC class I-independent mech-anism and supporting further investigation into IL2-supplemented ICB therapies for tumors of the central nervous system.
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