Radiofrequency ablation remodels the tumor microenvironment and promotes neutrophil-mediated abscopal immunomodulation in pancreatic cancer
Cancer Immunology Research, November 2022
Erika Y. Faraoni, Baylee J. O'Brien, Lincoln N. Strickland, Baron K. Osborn, Victoria Mota, Jarod Chaney, Constance Lynn. Atkins, Putao Cen, Julie Rowe, Jessica Cardenas, Kyle L. Poulsen, Curtis J. Wray, Nirav C. Thosani, Jennifer M. Bailey-Lundberg
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) presents a 5-year overall survival rate of 11%, despite efforts to improve clinical outcomes in the past two decades. Therapeutic resistance is a hallmark of this disease, due to its dense and suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Endoscopic ultrasound guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA) is a promising local ablative and potential immunomodulatory therapy for PDAC. In this study, we performed RFA in a preclinical tumor-bearing KrasG12D; Trp53R172H/+; Pdx1:Cre (KPC) syngeneic model, analyzed local and abscopal affects after RFA and compared our findings with resected PDAC specimens. We found that RFA reduced PDAC tumor progression in vivo and promoted strong TME remodeling. Additionally, we discovered tumor-infiltrating neutrophils determined abscopal effects. Using imaging mass cytometry, we showed that RFA elevated dendritic cell numbers in RFA-treated tumors and promoted a significant CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell abscopal response. In addition, RFA elevated levels of PD-L1 and checkpoint blockade inhibition targeting PD-L1 sustained tumor growth reduction in the context of RFA. This study indicates RFA treatment, which has been shown to increase tumor antigen shedding, promotes antitumor immunity. This is critical in PDAC where recent clinical immunotherapy trials have not resulted in substantial changes in overall survival.
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