Exth-77. extended half-life il-2 synergizes with α-pd-1 for treatment of preclinical murine glioblastoma models


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Abstract α-PD-1 checkpoint blockade is a promising immunotherapeutic approach for many solid tumors; however, this strategy is minimally effective for GBM patients as a monotherapy. One potential reason why α-PD-1 checkpoint blockade is ineffective is the tumor microenvironment and systemic derangements of the immune system which are prevalent in GBM patients. We have successfully modeled peripheral immune derangements in experimental murine GBM models. These include low peripheral blood CD4 T cell counts, reduced MHC class II expression on monocytes, and atrophy of primary immune organs in animals harboring gliomas. We therefore hypothesized that extended half-life IL-2, a potent cytokine which promotes the proliferation, differentiation, and killing activity of T cells, could overcome immune derangements and could potentially synergize with α-PD-1 checkpoint blockade therapy. In cohorts of C57Bl/6 mice, we supplemented α-PD-1 checkpoint blockade with multiple bio-engineered extended half-life IL-2 molecules to treat GL261 and CT2A orthotopic glioma models which are normally resistant to monotherapy. We observe a statistically significant increase in survival in GL261-bearing animals receiving the combination of extended half-life IL-2 reagents and αPD-1 therapy relative to control-treated mice. Some animals receiving this combination therapy had a reduction in tumor burden to levels below detection. These long-term survivors underwent a rechallenge experiment with a second inoculation of GL261-Luc and effectively cleared tumor without further therapeutic intervention. This intervention causes a significant shift in the immune profile, including the formation of mature T cell responses, as well as restoring the diminished peripheral immune cell counts in GL261-bearing animals. Finally, combining extended half-life IL-2 with α-PD-1 checkpoint blockade is effective independently of the CD8 T cell response. Together, these data suggest that combination immunotherapies employing extended half-life IL-2 fusion proteins are translational to the clinic and do not require the identification of tumor specific antigens for efficacy
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