Cancer immunotherapy via synergistic coactivation of myeloid receptors CD40 and Dectin-1

Sci Immunol. 2023 Nov 17;8(89):eadj5097. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.adj5097. Epub 2023 Nov 17.


Myeloid cells facilitate T cell immune evasion in cancer yet are pliable and have antitumor potential. Here, by cotargeting myeloid activation molecules, we leveraged the myeloid compartment as a therapeutic vulnerability in mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Myeloid cells in solid tumors expressed activation receptors including the pattern recognition receptor Dectin-1 and the TNF receptor superfamily member CD40. In mouse models of checkpoint inhibitor-resistant pancreatic cancer, coactivation of Dectin-1, via systemic β-glucan therapy, and CD40, with agonist antibody treatment, eradicated established tumors and induced immunological memory. Antitumor activity was dependent on cDC1s and T cells but did not require classical T cell-mediated cytotoxicity or blockade of checkpoint molecules. Rather, targeting CD40 drove T cell-mediated IFN-γ signaling, which converged with Dectin-1 activation to program distinct macrophage subsets to facilitate tumor responses. Thus, productive cancer immune surveillance in pancreatic tumors resistant to checkpoint inhibition can be invoked by coactivation of complementary myeloid signaling pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mice
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms*


  • dectin 1
  • CD40 Antigens