Background: Anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors (CIs) are clinically active in many types of cancer. However, only a minority of patients achieve a complete and/or long-lasting clinical response. We studied the effects of different doses of three widely used, orally active chemotherapeutics (vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide and 5-FU) over local and metastatic tumour growth, and the landscape of circulating and tumour-infiltrating immune cells involved in CI activity. Methods: Immunocompetent Balb/c mice were used to generate models of breast cancer (BC) and B-cell lymphoma. Vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide and 5-FU (alone or in combination with CIs), were given at low-dose metronomic, medium, or maximum tolerable dosages. Results: Cyclophosphamide increased circulating myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC). Vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide and 5-FU reduced circulating APCs. Vinorelbine and cyclophosphamide (at medium/high doses) reduced circulating Tregs. Cyclophosphamide (at low doses) and 5-FU (at medium doses) slightly increased circulating Tregs. Cyclophosphamide was the most potent drug in reducing circulating CD3+CD8+ and CD3+CD4+ T cells. Vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide and 5-FU reduced the number of circulating B cells, with cyclophosphamide showing the most potent effect. Vinorelbine reduced circulating NKs, whereas cyclophosphamide and 5-FU, at low doses, increased circulating NKs. In spite of reduced circulating T, B and NK effector cells, preclinical synergy was observed between chemotherapeutics and anti-PD-L1. Most-effective combinatorial regimens where associated with neoplastic lesions enriched in B cells, and, in BC-bearing mice (but not in mice with lymphoma) also in NK cells. Conclusions: Vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide and 5-FU have significant preclinical effects on circulating and tumour-infiltrating immune cells and can be used to obtain synergy with anti-PD-L1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research