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ORAL 13 - Immunotherapy Biomarkers (ID 104)
- Event: WCLC 2015
- Type: Oral Session
- Track: Biology, Pathology, and Molecular Testing
- Presentations: 1
ORAL13.07 - EMT Is Associated with an Inflammatory Tumor Microenvironment with Elevation of Immune Checkpoints and Suppressive Cytokines in Lung Cancer (ID 2134)
16:45 - 18:15 | Author(s): L. Chen
Promising results in the treatment of NSCLC have been seen with immunomodulatory agents targeting immune checkpoints, such as programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) or programmed cell death 1 ligand (PD-L1). However, only a select group of patients respond to these interventions. The identification of biomarkers that predict clinical benefit to immune checkpoint blockade is critical to successful clinical translation of these agents. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process driving metastasis and drug resistance. Previously we have developed a robust EMT gene signature, highlighting differential patterns of drug responsiveness for epithelial and mesenchymal tumor cells.
We conducted an integrated analysis of gene expression profiling from three independent large datasets, including The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) of lung and two large datasets from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Profiling of Resistance patterns and Oncogenic Signaling Pathways in Evaluation of Cancers of the Thorax (named PROSPECT) and the Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (named BATTLE-1). Comprehensive analysis of mRNA gene expression, reverse phase protein array (RPPA), immunohistochemistry, in vivo mouse models and correlation with clinical data were performed.
EMT is highly associated with an inflammatory tumor microenvironment in lung adenocarcinoma, independent of tumor mutational burden. We found immune activation co-existent with elevation of immune checkpoint molecules, including PD-L1, PD-L2, PD-1, TIM-3, BTLA and CTLA-4, along with increases in tumor infiltration by CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in lung adenocarcinomas that displayed an EMT phenotype. Similarly, IL-6 and indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) were elevated in these tumors. We demonstrate that in murine models of lung adenocarcinoma, many of these changes are recapitulated by modulation of the miR-200/ZEB1 axis, a known regulator of EMT. Furthermore, B7-H3 is found to negatively correlate with overall survival and recurrence free survival, indicating a potential new therapeutic target in lung adenocarcinoma in the future.
EMT, commonly related to cancer metastasis and drug resistance, is highly associated with an inflammatory tumor microenvironment with elevation of multiple targetable immune checkpoints and that is regulated at least in part by the miR-200/ZEB1 axis. These findings suggest that EMT may have potential utility as a biomarker selecting patients more likely to benefit from immune checkpoint blockade agents and other immunotherapies in NSCLC and possibly a broad range of other cancers.
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