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A TLR7 agonist strengthens T and NK cell function during BRAF-targeted therapy in a preclinical melanoma model.

07:00 EST 8th November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "A TLR7 agonist strengthens T and NK cell function during BRAF-targeted therapy in a preclinical melanoma model."

Therapeutic success of targeted therapy with BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi) for melanoma is limited by resistance development. Observations from preclinical mouse models and recent insights into the immunological effects caused by BRAFi give promise for future development of combination therapy for human melanoma. In this study, we used the transplantable D4M melanoma mouse model with the BRAF mutation and concomitant PTEN loss in order to characterize alterations in tumor-infiltrating effector immune cells when tumors become resistant to BRAFi. We found that BRAFi-sensitive tumors displayed a pronounced inflammatory milieu characterized by high levels of cytokines and chemokines accompanied by an infiltration of T and NK cells. The tumor-infiltrating effector cells were activated and produced high levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and granzyme B. When tumors became resistant and progressively grew, they reverted to a low immunogenic state similar to untreated tumors as reflected by low mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and fewer tumor-infiltrating T and NK cells. Moreover, these T and NK cells were functionally impaired in comparison to their counterparts in BRAFi-sensitive tumors. Their effector cell function could be restored by additional peritumoral treatment with the TLR7 agonist imiquimod, a clinically approved agent for non-melanoma skin cancer. Indeed, resistance to BRAFi therapy was delayed and accompanied by high numbers of activated T and NK cells in tumors. Thus, combining BRAFi with an immune stimulating agent such as a TLR ligand could be a promising alternative approach for the treatment of melanoma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: International journal of cancer
ISSN: 1097-0215
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