Immune checkpoint inhibitors have not been effective for immunologically "cold" tumors, such as prostate cancer, which contain scarce tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. We hypothesized that select tissue-specific and immunostimulatory bacteria can potentiate these immunotherapies. Here we show that a patient-derived prostate-specific microbe, CP1, in combination with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, increases survival and decreases tumor burden in orthotopic MYC- and PTEN-mutant prostate cancer models. CP1 administered intra-urethrally specifically homes to and colonizes tumors without causing any systemic toxicities. CP1 increases immunogenic cell death of cancer cells, T cell cytotoxicity, and tumor infiltration by activated CD8 T cells, Th17 T cells, mature dendritic cells, M1 macrophages, and NK cells. CP1 also decreases intra-tumoral regulatory T cells and VEGF. Mechanistically, blocking CP1-recruited T cells from infiltrating the tumor inhibits its therapeutic efficacy. CP1 is an immunotherapeutic tool demonstrating how a tissue-specific microbe can increase tumor immunogenicity and sensitize an otherwise resistant cancer type to immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)