Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells (CAR T-cells) produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that increase expression of T cell checkpoint signals such as PD-L1, which may inhibit their functionality against solid tumors. In this study, we evaluated in human tumor xenograft models the pro-inflammatory properties of an oncolytic adenovirus (Onc.Ad) with a helper-dependent Ad (HDAd) that expresses a PD-L1 blocking mini-antibody (mini-body) (HDPDL1), as a strategy to enhance CAR T-cell killing. Co-administration of these agents (CAd-VECPDL1) exhibited oncolytic effects with production of PD-L1 mini-body locally at the tumor site. On their own, HDPDL1 exhibited no anti-tumor effect and CAd-VECPDL1 alone reduced tumors only to volumes comparable to Onc.Ad treatment. However, combining CAd-VECPDL1 with HER2.CAR T-cells enhanced anti-tumor activity compared to treatment with either HER2.CAR T-cells alone, or HER2.CAR T-cells plus Onc.Ad. The benefits of locally produced PD-L1 mini-body by CAd-VECPDL1 could not be replicated by infusion of anti-PD-L1 IgG plus HER2.CAR T-cells and co-administration of Onc.Ad in a HER2+ prostate cancer xenograft model. Overall, our data document the superiority of local production of PD-L1 mini-body by CAd-VECPDL1 combined with administration of tumor-directed CAR T-cells to control the growth of solid tumors.
- Received June 11, 2016.
- Revision received January 12, 2017.
- Accepted January 28, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.