Intratumoral xenogeneic tissue-specific cell immunotherapy inhibits tumor growth by increasing antitumor immunity in murine triple negative breast and pancreatic tumor models

Cancer Lett. 2022 Oct 1;545:115478. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2021.10.044. Epub 2022 Jul 25.


Low immunogenicity in tumors and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) represent major obstacles to the full success of immunotherapy in cancer patients. A novel intratumoral xenogeneic tissue-specific cell immunotherapeutic approach could overcome the obstacles. Murine 4T1 triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells and Pan18 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells were used for establishing syngeneic graft tumor models to evaluate antitumor effect of intratumoral injection of xenogeneic tissue-specific cells. Responses to treatment were assessed by measuring tumor growth and tumor weight of the tumor-bearing mice. To investigate the mechanisms of action, tumor histology and immunohistochemistry and cytokine gene expression were measured. Splenic lymphocytes proliferation, cytokine production and cytotoxicity activities were also assessed. The findings showed that intratumoral injection of xenogeneic tissue-specific cells in monotherapy and combination with chemotherapy inhibit tumor growth. The therapeutic efficacy of intratumoral xenogeneic cells was significantly enhanced by the addition of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. Mice that received combined treatment showed maximal attenuation in tumor growth rate. The antitumor immunity was explained by altered immune cell infiltration in tumors and immune cell functions. Our findings demonstrate that xenogeneic tissue-specific cells given intratumorally, provide a potent antitumor effect in murine breast and pancreatic tumor models by enhancing recruitment and activation of immune cells in tumors for local and systemic antitumor effects. Moreover, intratumoral xenogeneic cell treatment turns immunologically "cold" tumors to "hot" ones, generates systemic antitumor immunity, and synergizes with chemotherapy. Thus, the intratumoral xenogeneic tissue-specific cell immunotherapy may represent a useful therapeutic option to difficult-to-treat cancers.

Keywords: Antitumor; Immunotherapy; Neoantigen; Xenoanigen; Xenogeneic cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mice
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Cytokines