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Radiat Res. 2010 Apr;173(4):426-32. doi: 10.1667/RR1904.1.

Radiotherapy enhances antitumor effect of anti-CD137 therapy in a mouse Glioma model.

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Departments of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine and NYU Cancer Institute and Langone Medical Center, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Previously, we reported that peripheral vaccination of mice with modified autologous tumor cells secreting granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with ionizing radiation to the whole brain cured 50% of mice using a syngeneic, intracranial model of murine high-grade glioma. Here, we tested the combination of radiotherapy (4 Gy x 2) with an immunotherapeutic approach using an anti-CD137 antibody directed to the co-stimulatory molecule CD137. The CD137 antibody has shown promise in generating effective antitumor responses in several animal models and has demonstrated a favorable toxicity profile in the clinic. The combination of radiation and anti-CD137 therapy resulted in complete tumor eradication and prolonged survival in six of nine (67%) mice with established brain tumors (P = 0.0009). Five of six (83%) long-term survivors in the combination group demonstrated antitumor immunity by rejecting challenge tumors. Antitumor immunity was associated with an increased number of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in brain tumors and increased tumor-specific production of gammaIFN. In view of the finding that radiation enhanced the antitumor effect of anti-CD137 therapy, this approach should be studied further for clinical translation.

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