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J Immunother. 2010 Oct;33(8):769-79. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181ee238f.

Control of established melanoma by CD27 stimulation is associated with enhanced effector function and persistence, and reduced PD-1 expression of tumor infiltrating CD8(+) T cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


The immune response to the tumor can be enhanced by targeting costimulatory molecules on T cells. As the CD70-CD27 costimulatory axis plays an important role in the activation, survival, and differentiation of lymphocytes, we have examined the efficacy of agonistic anti-CD27 antibodies as monotherapies for established melanoma in a murine model. We show that this approach leads to a substantial reduction in the outgrowth of both experimental lung metastases and subcutaneous tumors. Anti-CD27 treatment supports the maintenance of tumor-specific CD8(+) T cells within the tumor, reduces the frequency of FoxP3-expressing CD4(+) T cells within tumors, and potentiates the ability of NK1.1(+) and CD8(+) tumor infiltrating cells to secrete IFNγ upon coculture with tumor cells. The enhanced effector function correlated with lower levels of PD-1 expression on CD8(+) T cells from anti-CD27-treated mice. Despite the modulating effect of anti-CD27 on multiple cell types, only CD8(+) T cells were absolutely required for tumor control. The CD4(+) T cells were dispensable, whereas NK1.1(+) cells were needed during early stages of tumor growth but not for the effectiveness of anti-CD27. Thus, CD27-mediated costimulation provides a potent boost to multiple aspects of the endogenous responses to tumor, and may be exploited to enhance tumor immunity.

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