Immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment blunts vaccine-induced immune effectors. PD-1/B7-H1 is an important inhibitory axis in the tumor microenvironment. Our goal in this study was to determine the effect of blocking this inhibitory axis during and following vaccination against breast cancer. We observed that using anti- PD-1 antibody and a multipeptide vaccine (consisting of immunogenic peptides derived from breast cancer antigens, neu, legumain, and b-catenin) as a combination therapy regimen for the treatment of breast cancer- bearing mice prolonged the vaccine-induced progression-free survival period. This prolonged survival was associated with increase in number of Tc1 and Tc2 CD8 T cells with memory precursor phenotype, CD27IL- 7RhiT-betlo, and decrease in number of PD-1 dendritic cells (DC) in regressing tumors and enhanced antigen reactivity of tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells. It was also observed that blockade of PD-1 on tumor DCs enhanced IL- 7R expression on CD8 T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that PD-1 blockade enhances breast cancer vaccine efficacy by altering both CD8 T cell andDCcomponents of the tumor microenvironment. Given the recent success of anti-PD-1 monotherapy, our results are encouraging for developing combination therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer in which anti-PD-1 monotherapy alone may be ineffective (i.e., PD-L1-negative tumors).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research