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Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus Augments T Cell Factor 1-Positive Stem-like CD8+ T Cells, Which Underlies the Efficacy of Anti-PD-1 Combination Immunotherapy

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Jeon, Yun-Hui; Lee, Namhee; Yoo, Jiyoon; Won, Solchan; Shin, Suk-Kyung; Kim, Kyu-Hwan; Park, Jun-Gyu; Kim, Min-Gang; Kim, Hang-Rae; Oh, Keunhee; Lee, Dong-Sup

Issue Date
Biomedicines, Vol.10 No.4, p. 805
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Oncolytic virotherapy has garnered attention as an antigen-agnostic therapeutic cancer vaccine that induces cancer-specific T cell responses without additional antigen loading. As anticancer immune responses are compromised by a lack of antigenicity and chronic immunosuppressive microenvironments, an effective immuno-oncology modality that converts cold tumors into hot tumors is crucial. To evaluate the immune-activating characteristics of oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV; JX-594, pexastimogene devacirepvec), diverse murine syngeneic cancer models with different tissue types and immune microenvironments were used. Intratumorally administered mJX-594, a murine variant of JX-594, potently increased CD8+ T cells, including antigen-specific cancer CD8+ T cells, and decreased immunosuppressive cells irrespective of tissue type or therapeutic efficacy. Remodeling of tumors into inflamed ones by mJX-594 led to a response to combined anti-PD-1 treatment, but not to mJX-594 or anti-PD-1 monotherapy. mJX-594 treatment increased T cell factor 1-positive stem-like T cells among cancer-specific CD8+ T cells, and anti-PD-1 combination treatment further increased proliferation of these cells, which was important for therapeutic efficacy. The presence of functional cancer-specific CD8+ T cells in the spleen and bone marrow for an extended period, which proliferated upon encountering cancer antigen-loaded splenic dendritic cells, further indicated that long-term durable anticancer immunity was elicited by oncolytic VACV.
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  • College of Medicine
Research Area Function, Immune modulation by metabolites, T-cell anergy, differentiation of memory CD8+ T cells, metabolism


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