Cancer immunotherapy faces a serious challenge because of low clinical efficacy. Recently, a number of clinical studies have reported the serendipitous finding of high rates of objective clinical response when cancer vaccines are combined with chemotherapy in patients with different types of cancers. However, the mechanism of this phenomenon remains unclear. Here, we tested in mice several cancer vaccines and an adoptive T cell transfer approach to cancer immunotherapy in combination with several widely used chemotherapeutic drugs. We found that chemotherapy made tumor cells more susceptible to the cytotoxic effect of CTLs through a dramatic perforin-independent increase in permeability to GrzB released by the CTLs. This effect was mediated via upregulation of mannose-6-phosphate receptors on the surface of tumor cells and was observed in mouse and human cells. When combined with chemotherapy, CTLs raised against specific antigens were able to induce apoptosis in neighboring tumor cells that did not express those antigens. These data suggest that small numbers of CTLs could mediate a potent antitumor effect when combined with chemotherapy. In addition, these results provide a strong rationale for combining these modalities for the treatment of patients with advanced cancers.
Rupal Ramakrishnan, Deepak Assudani, Srinivas Nagaraj, Terri Hunter, Hyun-Il Cho, Scott Antonia, Soner Altiok, Esteban Celis, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.