Dasatinib, a broad range tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), induces rapid mobilization of lymphocytes and clonal expansion of cytotoxic cells in leukemia patients. Here, we investigated whether dasatinib could induce beneficial immunomodulatory effects in solid tumor models. The effects on tumor growth and on the immune system were studied in four different syngeneic mouse models (B16.OVA melanoma, 1956 sarcoma, MC38 colon, and 4T1 breast carcinoma). Both peripheral blood (PB) and tumor samples were immunophenotyped during treatment. Although in vitro dasatinib displayed no direct cytotoxicity to B16 melanoma cells, a significant decrease in tumor growth was observed in dasatinib-treated mice compared to vehicle-treated group. Further, dasatinib-treated melanoma-bearing mice had an increased proportion of CD8+ T cells in PB, together with a higher amount of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Dasatinib-mediated antitumor efficacy was abolished when CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were depleted with antibodies. Results were confirmed in sarcoma, colon, and breast cancer models, and in all cases mice treated daily with dasatinib had a significant decrease in tumor growth. Detailed immunophenotyping of tumor tissues with CyTOF indicated that dasatinib had reduced the number of intratumoral regulatory T cells in all tumor types. To conclude, dasatinib is able to slow down the tumor growth of various solid tumor models, which is associated with the favorable blood/tumor T-cell immunomodulation. The assessment of synergistic combinatorial therapies with other immunomodulatory drugs or targeted small molecule oncokinase inhibitors is warranted in future clinical trials.
- Received March 22, 2016.
- Revision received December 5, 2016.
- Accepted December 9, 2016.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.