IDO1 inhibition synergizes with radiation and PD-1 blockade to durably increase survival against advanced glioblastoma

Erik Ladomersky, Lijie Zhai, Alicia Lenzen, Kristen L. Lauing, Jun Qian, Denise M. Scholtens, Galina Gritsina, Xuebing Sun, Ye Liu, Fenglong Yu, Wenfeng Gong, Yong Liu, Beibei Jiang, Tristin Tang, Ricky Patel, Leonidas C. Platanias, C. David James, Roger Stupp, Rimas V. Lukas, David C. BinderDerek A. Wainwright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Purpose: Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain tumor in adults with a median survival of 15–20 months. Numerous approaches and novel therapeutics for treating glioblastoma have been investigated in the setting of phase III clinical trials, including a recent analysis of the immune checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (anti-PD-1), which failed to improve recurrent glioblastoma patient survival. However, rather than abandoning immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment for glioblastoma, which has shown promise in other types of cancer, ongoing studies are currently evaluating this therapeutic class when combined with other agents. Experimental Design: Here, we investigated immunocompetent orthotopic mouse models of glioblastoma treated with the potent CNS-penetrating IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, BGB-5777, combined with anti-PD1 mAb, as well as radiotherapy, based on our recent observation that tumor-infiltrating T cells directly increase immunosuppressive IDO1 levels in human glioblastoma, the previously described reinvigoration of immune cell functions after PD-1 blockade, as well as the proinflammatory effects of radiation. Results: Our results demonstrate a durable survival benefit from this novel three-agent treatment, but not for any single- or dual-agent combination. Unexpectedly, treatment efficacy required IDO1 enzyme inhibition in non-glioblastoma cells, rather than tumor cells. Timing of effector T-cell infiltration, animal subject age, and usage of systemic chemotherapy, all directly impacted therapy-mediated survival benefit. Conclusions: These data highlight a novel and clinically relevant immunotherapeutic approach with associated mechanistic considerations that have formed the basis of a newly initiated phase I/II trial for glioblastoma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2559-2573
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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