Macrophage immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as anti-CD47 antibodies, show promise in clinical trials for solid and hematologic malignancies. However, the best strategies to use these therapies remain unknown, and ongoing studies suggest they may be most effective when used in combination with other anticancer agents. Here, we developed an unbiased, high-throughput screening platform to identify drugs that render lung cancer cells more vulnerable to macrophage attack, and we found that therapeutic synergy exists between genotype-directed therapies and anti-CD47 antibodies. In validation studies, we found that the combination of genotype-directed therapies and CD47 blockade elicited robust phagocytosis and eliminated persister cells in vitro and maximized antitumor responses in vivo. Importantly, these findings broadly applied to lung cancers with various RTK/MAPK pathway alterations — including EGFR mutations, ALK fusions, or KRASG12C mutations. We observed downregulation of β2-microglobulin and CD73 as molecular mechanisms contributing to enhanced sensitivity to macrophage attack. Our findings demonstrate that dual inhibition of the RTK/MAPK pathway and the CD47/SIRPa axis is a promising immunotherapeutic strategy. Our study provides strong rationale for testing this therapeutic combination in patients with lung cancers bearing driver mutations.


Kyle Vaccaro, Juliet Allen, Troy W. Whitfield, Asaf Maoz, Sarah Reeves, José Velarde, Dian Yang, Anna Meglan, Juliano Ribeiro, Jasmine Blandin, Nicole Phan, George W. Bell, Aaron N. Hata, Kipp Weiskopf


Download this citation for these citation managers:

Or, download this citation in these formats:

If you experience problems using these citation formats, send us feedback.