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Cancer Immunol Res. 2019 Sep;7(9):1457-1471. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0595. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

The Combined Effect of FGFR Inhibition and PD-1 Blockade Promotes Tumor-Intrinsic Induction of Antitumor Immunity.

Author information

Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Spring House, Pennsylvania.
Lurie Family Imaging Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
PathAI, Boston, Massachusetts.
Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, Washington.
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
Laura & Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University, New York, New York.
Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Spring House, Pennsylvania.
Contributed equally


The success of targeted or immune therapies is often hampered by the emergence of resistance and/or clinical benefit in only a subset of patients. We hypothesized that combining targeted therapy with immune modulation would show enhanced antitumor responses. Here, we explored the combination potential of erdafitinib, a fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor under clinical development, with PD-1 blockade in an autochthonous FGFR2K660N/p53mut lung cancer mouse model. Erdafitinib monotherapy treatment resulted in substantial tumor control but no significant survival benefit. Although anti-PD-1 alone was ineffective, the erdafitinib and anti-PD-1 combination induced significant tumor regression and improved survival. For both erdafitinib monotherapy and combination treatments, tumor control was accompanied by tumor-intrinsic, FGFR pathway inhibition, increased T-cell infiltration, decreased regulatory T cells, and downregulation of PD-L1 expression on tumor cells. These effects were not observed in a KRASG12C-mutant genetically engineered mouse model, which is insensitive to FGFR inhibition, indicating that the immune changes mediated by erdafitinib may be initiated as a consequence of tumor cell killing. A decreased fraction of tumor-associated macrophages also occurred but only in combination-treated tumors. Treatment with erdafitinib decreased T-cell receptor (TCR) clonality, reflecting a broadening of the TCR repertoire induced by tumor cell death, whereas combination with anti-PD-1 led to increased TCR clonality, suggesting a more focused antitumor T-cell response. Our results showed that the combination of erdafitinib and anti-PD-1 drives expansion of T-cell clones and immunologic changes in the tumor microenvironment to support enhanced antitumor immunity and survival.

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