We sought to define cellular immune mechanisms of synergy between tumor-antigen–targeted monoclonal antibodies and chemotherapy. Established B16 melanoma in mice was treated with cytotoxic doses of cyclophosphamide in combination with an antibody targeting tyrosinase-related protein 1 (αTRP1), a native melanoma differentiation antigen. We find that Fcγ receptors are required for efficacy, showing that antitumor activity of combination therapy is immune mediated. Rag1−/− mice deficient in adaptive immunity are able to clear tumors, and thus innate immunity is sufficient for efficacy. Furthermore, previously treated wild-type mice are not significantly protected against tumor reinduction, as compared with mice inoculated with irradiated B16 alone, consistent with a primarily innate immune mechanism of action of chemo-immunotherapy. In contrast, mice deficient in both classical natural killer (NK) lymphocytes and nonclassical innate lymphocytes (ILC) due to deletion of the IL2 receptor common gamma chain IL2γc−/−) are refractory to chemo-immunotherapy. Classical NK lymphocytes are not critical for treatment, as depletion of NK1.1+ cells does not impair antitumor effect. Depletion of CD90+NK1.1− lymphocytes, however, both diminishes therapeutic benefit and decreases accumulation of macrophages within the tumor. Tumor clearance during combination chemo-immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies against native antigen is mediated by the innate immune system. We highlight a novel potential role for CD90+NK1.1− ILCs in chemo-immunotherapy. Cancer Immunol Res; 3(3); 1–9. ©2015 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received June 23, 2014.
- Revision received December 11, 2014.
- Accepted January 3, 2015.
- ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.