Purpose: Metastatic breast cancers continue to elude current therapeutic strategies, including those utilizing PI3K inhibitors. Given the prominent role of PI3Kα,β in tumor growth and PI3Kγ,δ in immune cell function, we sought to determine whether PI3K inhibition altered antitumor immunity.Experimental Design: The effect of PI3K inhibition on tumor growth, metastasis, and antitumor immune response was characterized in mouse models utilizing orthotopic implants of 4T1 or PyMT mammary tumors into syngeneic or PI3Kγ-null mice, and patient-derived breast cancer xenografts in humanized mice. Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes were characterized by IHC and FACS analysis in BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) or vehicle-treated mice and PI3Kγnull versus PI3KγWT mice. On the basis of the finding that PI3K inhibition resulted in a more inflammatory tumor leukocyte infiltrate, the therapeutic efficacy of BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) and anti-PD1 (100 μg, twice weekly) was evaluated in PyMT tumor-bearing mice.Results: Our findings show that PI3K activity facilitates tumor growth and surprisingly restrains tumor immune surveillance. These activities could be partially suppressed by BKM120 or by genetic deletion of PI3Kγ in the host. The antitumor effect of PI3Kγ loss in host, but not tumor, was partially reversed by CD8+ T-cell depletion. Treatment with therapeutic doses of both BKM120 and antibody to PD-1 resulted in consistent inhibition of tumor growth compared with either agent alone.Conclusions: PI3K inhibition slows tumor growth, enhances antitumor immunity, and heightens susceptibility to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We propose that combining PI3K inhibition with anti-PD1 may be a viable therapeutic approach for triple-negative breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(13); 3371-84. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.