Purpose: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are one of the major contributors to immune suppression in cancer. We recently have demonstrated in preclinical study that MDSCs are sensitive to TRAIL receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) agonist. The goal of this study was to clinically test the hypothesis that targeting TRAIL-R2 can selectively eliminate MDSCs.
Experimental Design: The TRAIL-R2 agonistic antibody (DS-8273a) has been tested in 16 patients with advanced cancers enrolled in a phase I trial. The antibody (24 mg/kg) was administered intravenously once every 3 weeks till disease progression, unacceptable toxicities, or withdrawal of consent. The safety and the presence of various populations of myeloid and lymphoid cells in peripheral blood and tumor tissues were evaluated.
Results: The treatment was well tolerated with only mild to moderate adverse events attributable to the study drug. Treatment with DS-8273a resulted in reduction of the elevated numbers of MDSCs in the peripheral blood of most patients to the levels observed in healthy volunteers. However, in several patients, MDSCs rebounded back to the pretreatment level by day 42. In contrast, DS-8273a did not affect the number of neutrophils, monocytes, and other populations of myeloid and lymphoid cells. Decrease in MDSCs inversely correlated with the length of progression-free survival. In tumors, DS-8273a treatment resulted in a decrease of MDSCs in 50% of the patients who were able to provide pre- and on-treatment biopsies.
Conclusions: Targeting TRAIL-R2 resulted in elimination of different populations of MDSCs without affecting mature myeloid or lymphoid cells. These data support the use of this antibody in combination immmunotherapy of cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 1–9. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
Clinical Trial registration ID: NCT02076451.
- Received July 14, 2016.
- Revision received November 11, 2016.
- Accepted December 2, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.