A single cell atlas reveals distinct immune landscapes in transplant and primary tumors that determine response or resistance to immunotherapy

Journal Article

AbstractDespite impressive responses in some patients, immunotherapy fails to cure most cancer patients. Preclinical studies indicate that radiotherapy synergizes with immunotherapy, promoting radiation-induced antitumor immunity. Nearly all preclinical immunotherapy studies utilize transplant tumor models, but cure rates of transplant tumor models treated with immunotherapy often overestimate patient responses. Here, we show that transplant tumors are cured by PD-1 blockade and radiotherapy, but identical treatment fails in autochthonous tumors. We generated a single-cell atlas of tumor-infiltrating immune cells from transplant and primary tumors treated with radiation and immunotherapy, which reveals striking differences in their immune landscapes. Although radiotherapy remodels myeloid cell phenotypes in primary and transplant tumors, only transplant tumors are enriched for CD8+ T cells that mediate tumor clearance while mice with primary sarcomas demonstrate tumor-specific tolerance. These results identify distinct microenvironments in tumors that coevolve with the immune system, which promote tolerance that must be overcome for immune-mediated cancer cures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wisdom, AJ; Mowery, YM; Hong, CS; Qin, X; Zhang, D; Himes, JE; Chen, L; Fradin, H; Muise, ES; Xu, ES; Carpenter, DJ; Kent, CL; Smythe, KS; Williams, N; Luo, L; Ma, Y; Owzar, K; Bradley, T; Kirsch, DG

Published By

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2020.03.11.978387