A novel multi-drug metronomic chemotherapy significantly delays tumor growth in mice

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Background: The tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment represents a major obstacle to an effective tumor-specific cellular immune response. Methods: In the present study, the counterbalance effect of a novel metronomic chemotherapy protocol on such an immunosuppressive microenvironment was evaluated in a mouse model upon sub-cutaneous ectopic implantation of B16 melanoma cells. The chemotherapy consisted of a novel multi-drug cocktail including taxanes and alkylating agents, administered in a daily metronomic fashion. The newly designed strategy was shown to be safe, well tolerated and significantly efficacious. Results: Treated animals showed a remarkable delay in tumor growth and prolonged survival as compared to control group. Such an effect was directly correlated with CD4+ T cell reduction and CD8+ T cell increase. Furthermore, a significant reduction in the percentage of both CD25+FoxP3+ and CD25+CD127low regulatory T cell population was found both in the spleens and in the tumor lesions. Finally, the metronomic chemotherapy induced an intrinsic CD8+ T cell response specific to B16 naturally expressed Trp2 TAA. Conclusion: The novel multi-drug daily metronomic chemotherapy evaluated in the present study was very effective in counterbalancing the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Consequently, the intrinsic anti-tumor T cell immunity could exert its function, targeting specific TAA and significantly containing tumor growth. Overall, the results show that this represents a promising adjuvant approach to significantly enhance efficacy of intrinsic or vaccine-elicited tumor-specific cellular immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 24 2016


  • Daily metronomic chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Treg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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