- 담당교수Seung-Woo Lee
Objectives: Emerging oncotherapeutic strategies require the induction of an immunostimulatory tumor microenvironment (TME) containing numerous tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells. Interleukin-7 (IL-7), a T-cell homeostatic cytokine, induces an antitumor response; however, the detailed mechanisms underlying the contributions of the IL-7 to TME remain unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the mechanism underlying the induction of antitumor response by hybrid Fc-fused long-acting recombinant human IL-7 (rhIL-7-hyFc) through regulation of both adaptive and innate immune cells in the TME.
Methods: We evaluated rhIL-7-hyFc-mediated antitumor responses in murine syngeneic tumor models. We analysed the cellular and molecular features of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and changes in the TME after rhIL-7-hyFc treatment. Furthermore, we evaluated the antitumor efficacy of rhIL-7-hyFc combined with chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs).
Results: Systemic delivery of rhIL-7-hyFc induced significant therapeutic benefits by expanding CD8+ T cells with enhanced tumor tropism. In tumors, rhIL-7-hyFc increased both tumor-reactive and bystander CD8+ TILs, all of which displayed enhanced effector functions but less exhausted phenotypes. Moreover, rhIL-7-hyFc suppressed the generation of immunosuppressive myeloid cells in the bone marrow of tumor-bearing mice, resulting in the immunostimulatory TME. Combination therapy with chemotherapy and CPIs, rhIL-7-hyFc elicited a strong antitumor response and even under a T lymphopenic condition by restoring CD8+ T cells. When combined with chemotherapy and CPIs, rhIL-7-hyFc administration enhanced antitumor response under intact andlymphopenic conditions by restoring CD8+ T cells.
Conclusion: Taken together, these data demonstrate that rhIL-7-hyFc induces antitumor responses by generating T-cell-inflamed TME and provide a preclinical proof of concept of immunotherapy with rhIL-7-hyFc to enhance therapeutic responses in the clinic.