Enhancement of T-cell-mediated antitumor response: Angiostatic adjuvant to immunotherapy against cancer

Ruud P.M. Dings, Kieng B. Vang, Karolien Castermans, Flavia E Popescu, Yan Zhang, Mirjam G.A. Oude Egbrink, Matthew F Mescher, Michael A Farrar, Arjan W. Griffioen, Kevin H Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose: Tumor-released proangiogenic factors suppress endothelial adhesion molecule (EAM) expression and prevent leukocyte extravasation into the tumor. This is one reason why immunotherapy has met with limited success in the clinic. We hypothesized that overcoming EAM suppression with angiogenesis inhibitors would increase leukocyte extravasation and subsequently enhance the effectiveness of cellular immunotherapy. Experimental Design: Intravital microscopy, multiple color flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and various tumor mouse (normal and T-cell deficient) models were used to investigate the temporal dynamics of cellular and molecular events that occur in the tumor microenvironment during tumor progression and angiostatic intervention. Results: We report that while EAM levels and T-cell infiltration are highly attenuated early on in tumor growth, angiostatic therapy modulates these effects. In tumor models with normal and T-cell-deficient mice, we show the active involvement of the adaptive immune system in cancer and differentiate antiangiogenic effects from antiangiogenic mediated enhancement of immunoextravasation. Our results indicate that a compromised immune response in tumors can be obviated by the use of antiangiogenic agents. Finally, with adoptive transfer studies in mice, we show that a phased combination of angiostatic therapy and T-cell transfer significantly (P < 0.0013) improves tumor growth inhibition. Conclusions: This research contributes to understand the cellular mechanism of action of angiostatic agents and the immune response within the tumor microenvironment, in particular as a consequence of the temporal dynamics of EAM levels. Moreover, our results suggest that adjuvant therapy with angiogenesis inhibitors holds promise for cellular immunotherapy in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3134-3145
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2011


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