Systemic and intravesical adoptive cell therapy of tumor-reactive T cells can decrease bladder tumor growth in vivo

Brittany L. Bunch, Jennifer Morse, Sarah Asby, Jamie Blauvelt, Ahmet M. Aydin, Patrick Innamarato, Ali Hajiran, Matthew Beatty, Michael Poch, Shari Pilon-Thomas
Journal for immunotherapy of cancer2021
BACKGROUND: The therapeutic armamentarium of bladder cancer has been recently enriched with the introduction of new therapies including immune checkpoint inhibitors, receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antibody drug conjugates, however treatment responses and duration of responses are still less than expected. Adoptive cellular therapy (ACT) using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) has potential to treat bladder cancer, as previously demonstrated by successful expansion of tumor reactive T cells from human bladder tumors. METHODS: A model system using OT-I T cells and an ovalbumin expressing MB49 tumor cell line (MB49OVA) was developed to study ACT in bladder cancer. Systemic ACT-treated mice were given T cells intravenously after lymphodepleting chemotherapy and followed by interleukin (IL)-2 administration. Intravesical ACT treated mice were given T cells directly into the bladder, without chemotherapy or IL-2. TILs were isolated from MB49 orthotopic tumors and expanded ex vivo in IL-2. Immune cell infiltrates were analyzed by flow cytometry. T cell infiltration was studied using a CXCR3 blocking antibody. RESULTS: Systemic ACT-treated mice had a decrease in tumor growth, increase in T cell infiltration and long-term immune protection compared with control-treated mice. OT-I T cells delivered intravesically were able to control tumor growth without lymphodepleting chemotherapy or IL-2 in MB49OVA orthotopic tumors. Intravesical delivery of TIL expanded from MB49 tumors was also able to decrease tumor growth in mice with MB49 orthotopic tumors. Blocking CXCR3 on OT-I T cells prior to intravesical delivery decreased T cell infiltration into the tumor and prevented the control of tumor growth. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates how TIL therapy can be used in treating different stages of bladder cancer.
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