Activation of adaptive and innate immune cells via localized Interleukin-2 cytokine factories eradicates mesothelioma tumors

Clinical Cancer Research 2022 August 22 [Link]

Amanda M Nash, Samira Aghlara-Fotovat, Bertha Castillio, Andrea Hernandez, Aarthi Pugazenthi, Hyun-Sung Lee, Hee-Jin Jang, Annie Nguyen, Alexander Lu, Bryan M Burt, Ravi K Ghanta, Omid Veiseh


Purpose: Interleukin-2 (IL-2) immunotherapy has the potential to elicit immune-mediated tumor lysis via activation of effector immune cells, but clinical utility is limited due to pharmacokinetic challenges as well as vascular leak syndrome and other life-threatening toxicities experienced by patients. We developed a safe and clinically translatable localized IL-2 delivery system to boost the potency of therapy while minimizing systemic cytokine exposure.

Experimental design: We evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of IL-2 cytokine factories in a mouse model of malignant mesothelioma. Changes in immune populations were analyzed using time-of-flight mass cytometry (CyTOF), and the safety and translatability of the platform were evaluated using complete blood counts and serum chemistry analysis.

Results: IL-2 cytokine factories enabled 150x higher IL-2 concentrations in the local compartment with limited leakage into the systemic circulation. AB1 tumor burden was reduced by 80% after one week of monotherapy treatment, and 7/7 of animals exhibited tumor eradication without recurrence when IL-2 cytokine factories were combined with aPD1. Further, CyTOF analysis showed an increase in CD69+CD44+ and CCD69-CD44+CD62L+ T cells, reduction of CD86-PD-L1- M2-like macrophages, and a corresponding increase in CD86+PD-L1+ M1-like macrophages and MHC II+ dendritic cells after treatment. Finally, blood chemistry ranges in rodents demonstrated the safety of cytokine factory treatment and reinforced its potential for clinical use.

Conclusion: IL-2 cytokine factories led to the eradication of aggressive mouse MM tumors, protection from tumor recurrence, and increased the therapeutic efficacy of anti-PD1 checkpoint therapy. This study provides support for the clinical evaluation of this IL-2-based delivery system.