In melanoma, immune cell infiltration into the tumor is associated with better patient outcomes and response to immunotherapy. T-cell non-inflamed tumors (cold tumors) are associated with tumor cell-intrinsic Wnt/β-catenin activation, and are typically resistant to anti-PD-1 alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4 therapy. Reversal of the ‘cold tumor’ phenotype and identifying new effective immunotherapies are challenges. We sought to investigate the role of a newer immunotherapy agent, B7-H3, in this setting. RNA sequencing was used to identify co-targeting strategies upon B7-H3 inhibition in a well-defined preclinical melanoma model driven by β-catenin. We found that immune checkpoint molecule B7-H3 confers a suppressive tumor microenvironment by modulating antiviral signals and innate immunity. B7-H3 inhibition led to an inflamed microenvironment, up-regulation of CD47/SIRPa signaling, and together with blockade of the macrophage checkpoint CD47 resulted in additive antitumor responses. We found that the antitumor effects of the B7-H3/CD47 antibody combination were dependent on cytokine signaling pathways (CCR5/CCL5 and IL4).
- metastatic melanoma