Decision letter: Innate immune activation by checkpoint inhibition in human patient-derived lung cancer tissues [peer_review]

Fabio Malavasi, Marco Volante, Fabio Malavasi, Tadatsugu Taniguchi
2021 unpublished
Although Pembrolizumab-based immunotherapy has significantly improved lung cancer patient survival, many patients show variable efficacy and resistance development. A better understanding of the drug's action is needed to improve patient outcomes. Functional heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is crucial to modulating drug resistance; understanding of individual patients' TME that impacts drug response is hampered by lack of appropriate models. Lung organotypic tissue slice
more » ... s (OTC) with patients' native TME procured from primary and brainmetastasized (BM) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients were treated with Pembrolizumab and/or beta-glucan (WGP, an innate immune activator). Metabolic tracing with 13 C 6 -Glc/ 13 C 5 , 15 N 2 -Gln, multiplex immunofluorescence, and digital spatial profiling (DSP) were employed to interrogate metabolic and functional responses to Pembrolizumab and/or WGP. Primary and BM PD-1 + lung cancer OTC responded to Pembrolizumab and Pembrolizumab + WGP treatments, respectively. Pembrolizumab activated innate immune metabolism and functions in primary OTC, which were accompanied by tissue damage. DSP analysis indicated an overall decrease in immunosuppressive macrophages and T cells but revealed microheterogeneity in immune responses and tissue damage. Two TMEs with altered cancer cell properties showed resistance. Pembrolizumab or WGP alone had negligible effects on BM-lung cancer OTC but Pembrolizumab + WGP blocked central metabolism with increased pro-inflammatory effector release and tissue damage. In-depth metabolic analysis and multiplex TME imaging of lung cancer OTC demonstrated overall innate immune activation by Pembrolizumab but heterogeneous responses in the native TME of a patient with primary NSCLC. Metabolic and functional analysis also revealed synergistic action of Pembrolizumab and WGP in OTC of metastatic NSCLC.
doi:10.7554/elife.69578.sa1 fatcat:6ihs6eui4jgt5hze322yaff52y