Multi-faceted immunomodulatory and tissue-tropic clinical bacterial isolate potentiates prostate cancer immunotherapy

Jonathan F. Anker, Anum F. Naseem, Hanlin Mok, Anthony J. Schaeffer, Sarki A. Abdulkadir*, Praveen Thumbikat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1591
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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