Introduction: Tumor-targeted therapies that efficiently eliminate malignant cells and in the process engage the innate and adaptive immune system are desirable for preventing cancer recurrence. We have pioneered an oncolytic poliovirus therapy, PVSRIPO, which selectively targets and eliminates malignant cells. PVSRIPO is a recombinant polio:rhinovirus chimera, engineered to eliminate neuronal competence and is devoid of neuropathogenicity after intracerebral inoculation in non-human primates and in humans. PVSRIPO has cancer tropism due to widespread ectopic expression of the poliovirus receptor, CD155, in solid cancers. PVSRIPO kills tumor cells with no effect on normal cells. Unlike other oncolytic viruses, PVSRIPO is effective in the presence of neutralizing antibodies and an innate antiviral response. A first-in-human Phase-1 study with PVSRIPO at Duke University has shown remarkable promise in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM), a uniformly lethal disease.
PVSRIPO tumor cell killing is associated with the induction of danger- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs and PAMPs) via antiviral type I interferons (IFNs) and simultaneous non-lethal infection of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) via CD155. Type I IFNs are known to inhibit tumor proliferation, activate innate immune cells and bridge innate and adaptive immunity among other functions.
Methods: To understand immune events associated with poliovirus infection of APCs, we examined the effects of PVSRIPO treatment on the human macrophage cell line (THP1) and primary human monocyte-derived DCs. PVSRIPO-treated DCs were evaluated for expression of maturation/activation markers and compared to untreated immature and mature DCs. To investigate if DCs exposed to PVSRIPO-induced dying tumor cells are capable of presenting tumor antigens to T cells, we performed an in vitro human immunotherapy assay. Human DCs generated from HLA-A2+ donor cells were incubated with PVSRIPO-induced tumor cell lysate and then used to stimulate autologous T cells in vitro followed by a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assay. All tumor cell lines used for the human immunotherapy experiments were positive for HLA-A2 expression. The following tumor cell lines were used for this analysis: DM6 (MART+) melanoma cell line, MDA-MB231 (CEA+) triple-negative breast cancer cell line, SUM149 (EGFR+) inflammatory breast cancer cell line and LNCaP (PSA+) prostate cancer cell line.
Results: PVSRIPO infection of THP1 macrophages induces Mda5/Stat1 and Stat1 phosphorylation as well as TNFα and IFNβ release. Coculturing of DCs with PVSRIPO-induced tumor cell lysate stimulates DC activation and IL12 production. Human DCs loaded with PVSRIPO-induced tumor cell lysate are capable of stimulating tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells in vitro. Autologous DCs transfected with RNA that encodes for CEA, EGFR, MART or PSA (tumor antigen-expressing cells) and human tumor cell lines were used as targets to assess tumor antigen-specificity of T cells.
Conclusion: Our data suggests that along with destruction of the primary tumor, oncolytic poliovirus mediates immune events. Importantly, we demonstrate that human DCs co-incubated with PVSRIPO-induced tumor cell lysate stimulate tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells in an in vitro human immunotherapy assay. In ongoing studies we are analyzing oncolytic poliovirus mediated immune events in syngeneic, immunocompetent murine models of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Citation Format: Michael C. Brown, Eda K. Holl, David Boczkowski, Darell D. Bigner, Matthias Gromeier, Smita K. Nair. Oncolytic poliovirus mediated immune events. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; September 16-19, 2015; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(1 Suppl):Abstract nr A157.
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