Tumor cells dying after cytotoxic therapy are a potential source of antigen for T-cell priming. Antigen-presenting cells (APC) can cross-present MHC I-restricted peptides after the uptake of dying cells. Depending on the nature of the surrounding environmental signals, APCs then orchestrate a spectrum of responses ranging from immune activation to inhibition. Previously, we had demonstrated that combining radiation with either agonistic monoclonal antibody (mAb) to CD40 or a systemically administered TLR7 agonist could enhance CD8 T-cell-dependent protection against syngeneic murine lymphoma models. However, it remains unknown how individual APC populations affect this antitumor immune response. Using APC depletion models, we now show that dendritic cells (DC), but not macrophages or B cells, were responsible for the generation of long-term immunologic protection following combination therapy with radiotherapy and either agonistic CD40 mAb or systemic TLR7 agonist therapy. Novel immunotherapeutic approaches that augment antigen uptake and presentation by DCs may further enhance the generation of therapeutic antitumor immune responses, leading to improved outcomes after radiotherapy. Cancer Immunol Res; 4(7); 621-30. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.