Publication Link: https://aacrjournals.org/cancerrescommun/article/3/3/404/718631/Tumor-derived-GCSF-Alters-Tumor-and-Systemic
Abstract: While immunotherapies such as immune checkpoint blockade and adoptive T-cell therapy improve survival for a subset of human malignancies, many patients fail to respond. Phagocytes including dendritic cells (DC), monocytes, and macrophages (MF) orchestrate innate and adaptive immune responses against tumors. However, tumor-derived factors may limit immunotherapy effectiveness by altering phagocyte signal transduction, development, and activity. Using Cytometry by Time-of-Flight, we found that tumor-derived GCSF altered myeloid cell distribution both locally and systemically. We distinguished a large number of GCSF-induced immune cell subset and signal transduction pathway perturbations in tumor-bearing mice, including a prominent increase in immature neutrophil/myeloid-derived suppressor cell (Neut/MDSC) subsets and tumor-resident PD-L1+ Neut/MDSCs. GCSF expression was also linked to distinct tumor-associated MF populations, decreased conventional DCs, and splenomegaly characterized by increased splenic progenitors with diminished DC differentiation potential. GCSF-dependent dysregulation of DC development was recapitulated in bone marrow cultures in vitro, using medium derived from GCSF-expressing tumor cell cultures. Importantly, tumor-derived GCSF impaired T-cell adoptive cell therapy effectiveness and was associated with increased tumor volume and diminished survival of mice with mammary cancer. Treatment with neutralizing anti-GCSF antibodies reduced colonic and circulatory Neut/MDSCs, normalized colonic immune cell composition and diminished tumor burden in a spontaneous model of mouse colon cancer. Analysis of human colorectal cancer patient gene expression data revealed a significant correlation between survival and low GCSF and Neut/MDSC gene expression. Our data suggest that normalizing GCSF bioactivity may improve immunotherapy in cancers associated with GCSF overexpression.