Vaccination targeting human HER3 alters the phenotype of infiltrating T cells and responses to immune checkpoint inhibition.
Expression of human epidermal growth factor family member 3 (HER3), a critical heterodimerization partner with EGFR and HER2, promotes more aggressive biology in breast and other epithelial malignancies. As such, inhibiting HER3 could have broad applicability to the treatment of EGFR- and HER2-driven tumors. Although lack of a functional kinase domain limits the use of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, HER3 contains antigenic targets for T cells and antibodies. Using novel human HER3 transgenic mouse models of breast cancer, we demonstrate that immunization with recombinant adenoviral vectors encoding full length human HER3 (Ad-HER3-FL) induces HER3-specific T cells and antibodies, alters the T cell infiltrate in tumors, and influences responses to immune checkpoint inhibitions. Both preventative and therapeutic Ad-HER3-FL immunization delayed tumor growth but were associated with both intratumoral PD-1 expressing CD8+ T cells and regulatory CD4+ T cell infiltrates. Immune checkpoint inhibition with either anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 antibodies increased intratumoral CD8+ T cell infiltration and eliminated tumor following preventive vaccination with Ad-HER3-FL vaccine. The combination of dual PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA4 blockade slowed the growth of tumor in response to Ad-HER3-FL in the therapeutic model. We conclude that HER3-targeting vaccines activate HER3-specific T cells and induce anti-HER3 specific antibodies, which alters the intratumoral T cell infiltrate and responses to immune checkpoint inhibition.
Osada, T; Morse, MA; Hobeika, A; Diniz, MA; Gwin, WR; Hartman, Z; Wei, J; Guo, H; Yang, X-Y; Liu, C-X; Kaneko, K; Broadwater, G; Lyerly, HK
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