Rationally sequencing and combining PD-1/L1-and MAPK-targeted therapies may overcome innate and acquired resistance. Since increased clinical benefit of MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) is associated with previous immune checkpoint therapy, we compare the efficacies of sequential and/or combinatorial regimens in subcutaneous murine models of melanoma driven by BrafV600, Nras, or Nf1 mutations as well as colorectal and pancreatic carcinoma driven by KrasG12C. Anti-PD-1/L1 lead-in preceding MAPKi combination optimizes response durability by promoting pro-inflammatory polarization of macrophages and clonal expansion of interferon-γhi, and CD8+ cytotoxic and proliferative (versus CD4+ regulatory) T cells that highly express activation genes. Since therapeutic resistance of melanoma brain metastasis (MBM) limits patient survival, we demonstrate that sequencing anti-PD-1/L1 therapy before MAPKi combination suppresses MBM and improves mouse survival with robust T cell clonal expansion in both intracranial and extracranial metastatic sites. We propose clinically testing brief anti-PD-1/L1 (± anti-CTLA-4) dosing before MAPKi co-treatment to suppress therapeutic resistance.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02196181.
Keywords: BRAF/NRAS/KRAS/NF1; MAPK/BRAF/MEK inhibitor resistance; anti-CTLA-4; anti-PD-1/L1; brain metastasis; colorectal carcinoma; melanoma; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; sequential-combination therapy; tumor immune microenvironment.
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