In tumor bearing animals, the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) suppresses immune responses, suggesting that PS signaling could counteract the antitumor effect of antibody-driven immune checkpoint blockade. Here we show that treating melanoma-bearing mice with a PS-targeting antibody enhances the antitumor activity of downstream checkpoint inhibition. Combining PS-targeting antibodies with CTLA-4 or PD-1 blockade resulted in significantly greater inhibition of tumor growth than did single agent therapy. Moreover, combination therapy enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte numbers; elevated the fraction of cells expressing the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL2, IFNγ, and TNFα; and increased the ratio of CD8 T cells to myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells in tumors. Similar changes in immune cell profiles were observed in splenocytes. Taken together, these data show that antibody-mediated PS blockade enhances the antitumor efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibition.
- Received October 2, 2015.
- Revision received December 29, 2015.
- Accepted January 20, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.