Topoisomerase I inhibitor, irinotecan, depletes regulatory T cells and up-regulates MHC class I and PD-L1 expression, resulting in a supra-additive antitumor effect when combined with anti-PD-L1 antibodies

Toshiki IwaiKaname Yamamoto


Anti-PD-L1 antibodies inhibit interactions between PD-L1 and PD-1 and interactions between PD-L1 and B7-1, thereby reinvigorating anticancer immunity. Although there are numerous ongoing clinical studies evaluating combinations of standard chemotherapies and anti-PD-L1 antibodies, irinotecan has not yet been investigated in this context so there is little information about its compatibility with anti-PD-L1 antibodies. Here we investigated the efficacy of anti-PD-L1 antibody in combination with irinotecan and the role of irinotecan in the tumor-immunity cycle in an FM3A murine tumor model. Despite a transient decrease in lymphocytes in the peripheral blood after irinotecan treatment, the antitumor activity of anti-PD-L1 antibody plus irinotecan was significantly greater than each agent alone. Irinotecan in combination with anti-PD-L1 antibody enhanced proliferation of CD8+ cells in both tumors and lymph nodes, and the number of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ cells was higher than either irinotecan or anti-PD-L1 antibody monotherapy. Irinotecan was found to decrease the number of Tregs in lymph nodes and tumors, and specific depletion of Tregs by anti-folate receptor 4 antibodies was found to enhance the proliferation of CD8+ cells in t...Continue Reading


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