Author(s): Strachan DC, Ruffell B, Oei Y, Bissell MJ, Coussens LM,
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Abstract Increased numbers of tumor-infiltrating macrophages correlate with poor disease outcome in patients affected by several types of cancer, including breast and prostate carcinomas. The colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) signaling pathway drives the recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) to the neoplastic microenvironment and promotes the differentiation of TAMs toward a pro-tumorigenic phenotype. Twelve clinical trials are currently evaluating agents that target the CSF1/CSF1R signaling pathway as a treatment against multiple malignancies, including breast carcinoma, leukemia, and glioblastoma. The blockade of CSF1R signaling has been shown to greatly decrease the number of macrophages in a tissue-specific manner. However, additional mechanistic insights are needed in order to understand how macrophages are depleted and the global effects of CSF1R inhibition on other tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Using BLZ945, a highly selective small molecule inhibitor of CSF1R, we show that CSF1R inhibition attenuates the turnover rate of TAMs while increasing the number of CD8+ T cells that infiltrate cervical and breast carcinomas. Specifically, we find that BLZ945 decreased the growth of malignant cells in the mouse mammary tumor virus-driven polyomavirus middle T antigen (MMTV-PyMT) model of mammary carcinogenesis. Furthermore, we show that BLZ945 prevents tumor progression in the keratin 14-expressing human papillomavirus type 16 (K14-HPV-16) transgenic model of cervical carcinogenesis. Our results demonstrate that TAMs undergo a constant turnover in a CSF1R-dependent manner, and suggest that continuous inhibition of the CSF1R pathway may be essential to maintain efficacious macrophage depletion as an anticancer therapy.
This article was published in Oncoimmunology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology