Author(s): Zhang M, Yao Z, Dubois S, Ju W, Mller JR, , Zhang M, Yao Z, Dubois S, Ju W, Mller JR,
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Abstract IL-15 has potential as an immunotherapeutic agent for cancer treatment because it is a critical factor for the proliferation and activation of natural killer (NK) and CD8(+) T cells. Administration of anti-CD40 antibodies has shown anti-tumor effects in vivo through a variety of mechanisms. Furthermore, activation of CD40 led to increased expression of IL-15 receptor-alpha by dendritic cells, an action that is critical for trans-presentation of IL-15 to NK and CD8(+) T cells. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of the combination regimen of murine IL-15 (mIL-15) with an agonistic anti-CD40 antibody (FGK4.5) in murine lung metastasis models involving CT26 and MC38, which are murine colon cancer cell lines syngeneic to BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. Treatment with mIL-15 or the anti-CD40 antibody alone significantly prolonged survival of both CT26 and MC38 tumor-bearing mice compared with the mice in the PBS solution control group (P < 0.01). Furthermore, combination therapy with both mIL-15 and the anti-CD40 antibody provided greater therapeutic efficacy as demonstrated by prolonged survival of the mice compared with either mIL-15 or the anti-CD40 antibody-alone groups (P < 0.001). We found that NK cells isolated from the mice that received the combination regimen expressed increased levels of intracellular granzyme B and showed stronger cytotoxic activity on the target cells. The findings from this study provide the scientific basis for clinical trials using the combination regimen of IL-15 with an anti-CD40 antibody for the treatment of patients with cancer.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Immunome Research