Clinical immunotherapy approaches are lacking efficacy in the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM). In this study, we sought to reverse local and systemic GBM-induced immunosuppression using the Helicobacter pylori neutrophil-activating protein (NAP), a potent TLR2 agonist, as an immunostimulatory transgene expressed in an oncolytic measles virus (MV) platform, retargeted to allow viral entry through the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). While single-agent murine anti-PD1 treatment or repeat in situ immunization with MV-s-NAP-uPA provided modest survival benefit in MV-resistant syngeneic GBM models, the combination treatment led to synergy with a cure rate of 80% in mice bearing intracranial GL261 tumors and 72% in mice with CT-2A tumors. Combination NAP-immunovirotherapy induced massive influx of lymphoid cells in mouse brain, with CD8+ T cell predominance; therapeutic efficacy was CD8+ T cell dependent. Inhibition of the IFN response pathway using the JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib decreased PD-L1 expression on myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the brain and further potentiated the therapeutic effect of MV-s-NAP-uPA and anti-PD1. Our findings support the notion that MV strains armed with bacterial immunostimulatory antigens represent an effective strategy to overcome the limited efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapies in GBM, creating a promising translational strategy for this lethal brain tumor.
Eleni Panagioti, Cheyne Kurokawa, Kimberly Viker, Arun Ammayappan, S. Keith Anderson, Sotiris Sotiriou, Kyriakos Chatzopoulos, Katayoun Ayasoufi, Aaron J. Johnson, Ianko D. Iankov, Evanthia Galanis