Antipodoplanin antibody enhances the antitumor effects of CTLA-4 blockade against malignant mesothelioma by natural killer cells

Cancer Science 2023 December 26 [Link]

Hiroto Yoneda, Atsushi Mitsuhashi, Aito Yoshida, Hirokazu Ogino, Satoshi Itakura, Na Thi Nguyen, Hiroshi Nokihara, Seidai Sato, Tsutomu Shinohara, Masaki Hanibuchi, Shinji Abe, Mika K Kaneko, Yukinari Kato, Yasuhiko Nishioka


Combination immunotherapy with multiple immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) has been approved for various types of malignancies, including malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Podoplanin (PDPN), a transmembrane sialomucin-like glycoprotein, has been investigated as a diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for MPM. We previously generated and developed a PDPN-targeting Ab reagent with high Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). However, the effects of anti-PDPN Abs on various tumor-infiltrating immune cells and their synergistic effects with ICIs have remained unclear. In the present study, we established a novel rat-mouse chimeric anti-mouse PDPN IgG2a mAb (PMab-1-mG2a ) and its core-fucose-deficient Ab (PMab-1-mG2a -f) to address these limitations. We identified the ADCC and CDC activity of PMab-1-mG2a -f against the PDPN-expressing mesothelioma cell line AB1-HA. The antitumor effect of monotherapy with PMab-1-mG2a -f was not sufficient to overcome tumor progression in AB1-HA-bearing immunocompetent mice. However, PMab-1-mG2a -f enhanced the antitumor effects of CTLA-4 blockade. Combination therapy with anti-PDPN Ab and anti-CTLA-4 Ab increased tumor-infiltrating natural killer (NK) cells. The depletion of NK cells inhibited the synergistic effects of PMab-1-mG2a -f and CTLA-4 blockade in vivo. These findings indicated the essential role of NK cells in novel combination immunotherapy targeting PDPN and shed light on the therapeutic strategy in advanced MPM.