Purpose: Radiotherapy modifies the tumor microenvironment and causes the release of tumor antigens, which can enhance the effect of immunotherapy. L19 targets the extra domain B (ED-B) of fibronectin, a marker for tumor neoangiogenesis, and can be used as immunocytokine when coupled to IL2. We hypothesize that radiotherapy in combination with L19-IL2 provides an enhanced antitumor effect, which is dependent on ED-B expression.
Experimental design: Mice were injected with syngeneic C51 colon carcinoma, Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC), or 4T1 mammary carcinoma cells. Tumor growth delay, underlying immunologic parameters, and treatment toxicity were evaluated after single-dose local tumor irradiation and systemic administration of L19-IL2 or equimolar controls.
Results: ED-B expression was high, intermediate, and low for C51, LLC, and 4T1, respectively. The combination therapy showed (i) a long-lasting synergistic effect for the C51 model with 75% of tumors being cured, (ii) an additive effect for the LLC model, and (iii) no effect for the 4T1 model. The combination treatment resulted in a significantly increased cytotoxic (CD8(+)) T-cell population for both C51 and LLC. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells abolished the benefit of the combination therapy.
Conclusions: These data provide the first evidence for an increased therapeutic potential by combining radiotherapy with L19-IL2 in ED-B-positive tumors. This new opportunity in cancer treatment will be investigated in a phase I clinical study for patients with an oligometastatic solid tumor (NCT02086721). An animation summarizing our results is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHbwQuCTkRc.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.