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Intratumoral IL-12 delivery empowers CAR-T cell immunotherapy in a pre-clinical model of glioblastoma


Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer, for which effective therapies are urgently needed. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based immunotherapy represents a promising therapeutic approach, but it is often impeded by highly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TME). Here, in an immunocompetent, orthotopic GBM mouse model, we show that CAR-T cells targeting tumor-specific epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) alone fail to control fully established tumors but, when combined with a single, locally delivered dose of IL-12, achieve durable anti-tumor responses. IL-12 not only boosts cytotoxicity of CAR-T cells, but also reshapes the TME, driving increased infiltration of proinflammatory CD4$^{+}$ T cells, decreased numbers of regulatory T cells (Treg), and activation of the myeloid compartment. Importantly, the immunotherapy-enabling benefits of IL-12 are achieved with minimal systemic effects. Our findings thus show that local delivery of IL-12 may be an effective adjuvant for CAR-T cell therapy for GBM.

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer, for which effective therapies are urgently needed. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based immunotherapy represents a promising therapeutic approach, but it is often impeded by highly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TME). Here, in an immunocompetent, orthotopic GBM mouse model, we show that CAR-T cells targeting tumor-specific epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) alone fail to control fully established tumors but, when combined with a single, locally delivered dose of IL-12, achieve durable anti-tumor responses. IL-12 not only boosts cytotoxicity of CAR-T cells, but also reshapes the TME, driving increased infiltration of proinflammatory CD4$^{+}$ T cells, decreased numbers of regulatory T cells (Treg), and activation of the myeloid compartment. Importantly, the immunotherapy-enabling benefits of IL-12 are achieved with minimal systemic effects. Our findings thus show that local delivery of IL-12 may be an effective adjuvant for CAR-T cell therapy for GBM.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Experimental Immunology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:19 January 2021
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 14:59
Last Modified:25 Feb 2024 02:48
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20599-x
PubMed ID:33469002
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)