Combination of a novel heat shock protein 90-targeted photodynamic therapy with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade induces potent systemic antitumor efficacy and abscopal effect against breast cancers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: We previously demonstrated potent antitumor activity against human breast cancer xenografts using photodynamic therapy (PDT) targeting a novel tumor-specific photosensitizer (HS201), which binds heat shock protein 90 (HS201-PDT). However, induction of systemic antitumor immunity by HS201-PDT alone or by the combination strategy with immune checkpoint blockade has yet to be determined. METHODS: Using unilateral and bilateral implantation models of syngeneic breast tumors (E0771, MM3MG-HER2, and JC-HER3) in mice, we assessed whether HS201-PDT could induce local and systemic antitumor immunity. In an attempt to achieve a stronger abscopal effect for distant tumors, the combination strategy with anti-PD-L1 antibody was tested. Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes were analyzed by single cell RNA-sequencing and receptor-ligand interactome analysis to characterize in more detailed the mechanisms of action of the treatment and key signaling pathways involved. RESULTS: HS201-PDT demonstrated greater tumor control and survival in immune competent mice than in immunocompromised mice, suggesting the role of induced antitumor immunity; however, survival was modest and an abscopal effect on distant implanted tumor was weak. A combination of HS201-PDT with anti-PD-L1 antibody demonstrated the greatest antigen-specific immune response, tumor growth suppression, prolonged mouse survival time and abscopal effect. The most significant increase of intratumoral, activated CD8+T cells and decrease of exhausted CD8+T cells occurred following combination treatment compared with HS201-PDT monotherapy. Receptor-ligand interactome analysis showed marked enhancement of several pathways, such as CXCL, GALECTIN, GITRL, PECAM1 and NOTCH, associated with CD8+T cell activation in the combination group. Notably, the expression of the CXCR3 gene signature was the highest in the combination group, possibly explaining the enhanced tumor infiltration by T cells. CONCLUSIONS: The increased antitumor activity and upregulated CXCR3 gene signature induced by the combination of anti-PD-L1 antibody with HS201-PDT warrants the clinical testing of HS201-PDT combined with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in patients with breast cancer, and the use of the CXCR3 gene signature as a biomarker.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kaneko, K; Acharya, CR; Nagata, H; Yang, X; Hartman, ZC; Hobeika, A; Hughes, PF; Haystead, TAJ; Morse, MA; Lyerly, HK; Osada, T

Published Date

  • September 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 9

PubMed ID

  • 36171008

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9528636

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2051-1426

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/jitc-2022-004793


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England