Recent observations have indicated that features of the melanoma tumor microenvironment likely determine whether tumor regression versus resistance occurs in response to a successfully generated anti-tumor T cell response. Our preliminary gene expression profiling data on the melanoma tumor microenvironment from patients with advanced disease have suggested two categories of downstream defects: failure to recruit activated T cells into metastatic sites, and presence of immunosuppressive mechanisms in the microenvironment of tumors that have indeed recruited T cells. T cell trafficking has been associated with expression of specific chemokines within tumor sites. Identified immune resistance mechanisms include expression of the inhibitory ligand PD-L1 on the tumor cells themselves, the presence of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells, the tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme IDO expressed by dendritic-like cells and endothelial cells, and the anergy-promoting conditions of having poor B7 expression by APC populations. An additional observation has linked high levels of Notch signaling in melanoma tumors with resistance to immunotherapy and poor T cell recruitement, thus offering a potential link between tumor cell biology and establishment of features of the surrounding microenvironment. These observations have crystalized into the following Specific Aims: 1. To examine the relative contribution of PD-1, regulatory T cells, IDO, and anergy in limiting immune-mediated tumor regression in a mouse preclinical model: 2. To identify cell types producing specific chemokines in the tumor microenvironment and determine the role of selected chemokines in T cell recruitment;and 3. To investigate the role of Notch signaling in melanoma tumor cells in establishing the tumor microenvironment and mediating resistance to T cell-mediated killing. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop strategies to facilitate the effector phase of the anti-tumor immune response by overcoming limitations within the melanoma tumor microenvironment, thus identifying approaches with potential for future clinical application.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01CA127475-05
Application #
8019440
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMM-G (02))
Program Officer
Mohla, Suresh
Project Start
2007-04-01
Project End
2012-01-31
Budget Start
2011-02-01
Budget End
2012-01-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$274,661
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Chicago
Department
Pathology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
005421136
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60637
Gajewski, Thomas F (2015) The Next Hurdle in Cancer Immunotherapy: Overcoming the Non-T-Cell-Inflamed Tumor Microenvironment. Semin Oncol 42:663-71
Barnes, Sarah E; Wang, Ying; Chen, Luqiu et al. (2015) T cell-NF-κB activation is required for tumor control in vivo. J Immunother Cancer 3:1
Gajewski, Thomas F; Woo, Seng-Ryong; Zha, Yuanyuan et al. (2013) Cancer immunotherapy strategies based on overcoming barriers within the tumor microenvironment. Curr Opin Immunol 25:268-76
Spranger, Stefani; Spaapen, Robbert M; Zha, Yuanyuan et al. (2013) Up-regulation of PD-L1, IDO, and T(regs) in the melanoma tumor microenvironment is driven by CD8(+) T cells. Sci Transl Med 5:200ra116
Gajewski, Thomas F; Schreiber, Hans; Fu, Yang-Xin (2013) Innate and adaptive immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. Nat Immunol 14:1014-22
Gajewski, Thomas F (2012) Cancer immunotherapy. Mol Oncol 6:242-50
Gajewski, Thomas F; Fuertes, Mercedes; Spaapen, Robbert et al. (2011) Molecular profiling to identify relevant immune resistance mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment. Curr Opin Immunol 23:286-92
Gajewski, Thomas F (2011) Molecular profiling of melanoma and the evolution of patient-specific therapy. Semin Oncol 38:236-42
Driessens, Gregory; Kline, Justin; Gajewski, Thomas F (2009) Costimulatory and coinhibitory receptors in anti-tumor immunity. Immunol Rev 229:126-44
Zhang, Long; Gajewski, Thomas F; Kline, Justin (2009) PD-1/PD-L1 interactions inhibit antitumor immune responses in a murine acute myeloid leukemia model. Blood 114:1545-52

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