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A novel combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy controls tumor growth in mice with a human immune system

Burlion, A., Ramos, R.N., Pukar, K.C. et al.

Mice reconstituted with a human immune system and bearing human tumors represent a promising model for developing novel cancer immunotherapies. Here, we used mass cytometry and multi-parametric flow cytometry to characterize human leukocytes infiltrating a human breast cancer tumor model in immunocompromised NOD.SCID.γc-null mice reconstituted with a human immune system and compared it to samples of breast cancer patients. We observed highly activated human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the tumor, as well as minor subsets of innate immune cells in both settings. We also report that ICOS+ CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg) were enriched in the tumor relative to the periphery in humanized mice and patients, providing a target to affect Treg and tumor growth. Indeed, administration of a neutralizing mAb to human ICOS reduced Treg proportions and numbers and improved CD4 + T cell proliferation in humanized mice. Moreover, a combination of the anti-ICOS mAb with cyclophosphamide reduced tumor growth, and that was associated with an improved CD8 to Treg ratio. Depletion of human CD8+ T cells or of murine myeloid cells marginally affected the effect of the combination therapy. Altogether, our results indicate that a combination of anti-ICOS mAb and chemotherapy controls tumor growth in humanized mice, opening new perspectives for the treatment of breast cancer.

Citation

Burlion, A., Ramos, R.N., Pukar, K.C. et al. "A novel combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy controls tumor growth in mice with a human immune system" OncoImmunology (2019): 1,596,005.