bims-flamet Biomed News
on Cytokines and immunometabolism in metastasis
Issue of 2024‒01‒07
24 papers selected by
Peio Azcoaga, Biodonostia HRI

  1. Trends Cancer. 2023 Dec 29. pii: S2405-8033(23)00240-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Advances in immunotherapy have revolutionized cancer treatment, yet many patients do not show clinical responses. While most immunotherapies target T cells, myeloid cells are the most abundant cell type in solid tumors and are key orchestrators of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), hampering effective T cell responses. Therefore, unraveling the immune suppressive pathways within myeloid cells could unveil new avenues for cancer immunotherapy. Over the past decade, Siglec receptors and their ligand, sialic acids, have emerged as a novel immune checkpoint on myeloid cells. In this review, we highlight key findings on how sialic acids modify immunity in the TME through engagement of Siglec-7/9/10/15 expressed on myeloid cells, and how the sialic acid-Siglec axis can be targeted for future cancer immunotherapies.
    Keywords:  Siglecs; cancer immunology; glyco-immune checkpoints; myeloid cells; sialylation
  2. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1328651
      Ovarian cancer (OC) is an aggressive malignancy characterized by a complex immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Immune checkpoint inhibitors have emerged as a breakthrough in cancer therapy by reactivating the antitumor immune response suppressed by tumor cells. However, in the case of OC, these inhibitors have failed to demonstrate significant improvements in patient outcomes, and existing biomarkers have not yet identified promising subgroups. Consequently, there remains a pressing need to understand the interplay between OC tumor cells and their surrounding microenvironment to develop effective immunotherapeutic approaches. This review aims to provide an overview of the OC TME and explore its potential as a therapeutic strategy. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are major actors in OC TME. Evidence has been accumulating regarding the spontaneous TILS response against OC antigens. Activated T-helpers secrete a wide range of inflammatory cytokines with a supportive action on cytotoxic T-cells. Simultaneously, mature B-cells are recruited and play a significant antitumor role through opsonization of target antigens and T-cell recruitment. Macrophages also form an important subset of innate immunity (M1-macrophages) while participating in the immune-stimulation context. Finally, OC has shown to engage a significant natural-killer-cells immune response, exerting direct cytotoxicity without prior sensitization. Despite this initial cytotoxicity, OC cells develop various strategies to induce an immune-tolerant state. To this end, multiple immunosuppressive molecules are secreted to impair cytotoxic cells, recruit regulatory cells, alter antigen presentation, and effectively evade immune response. Consequently, OC TME is predominantly infiltrated by immunosuppressive cells such as FOXP3+ regulatory T-cells, M2-polarized macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Despite this strong immunosuppressive state, PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors have failed to improve outcomes. Beyond PD-1/PD-L1, OC expresses multiple other immune checkpoints that contribute to immune evasion, and each representing potential immune targets. Novel immunotherapies are attempting to overcome the immunosuppressive state and induce specific immune responses using antibodies adoptive cell therapy or vaccines. Overall, the OC TME presents both opportunities and obstacles. Immunotherapeutic approaches continue to show promise, and next-generation inhibitors offer exciting opportunities. However, tailoring therapies to individual immune characteristics will be critical for the success of these treatments.
    Keywords:  adoptive cell therapy; cancer vaccine; immune microenvironment; immunotherapy; ovarian cancer; tumor-associated macrophages; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
  3. Theranostics. 2024 ;14(2): 843-860
      Background: In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the therapeutic targeting of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) to modulate the tumor microenvironment (TME), resulting in antitumoral phenotypes. However, key mediators suitable for TAM-mediated remodeling of the TME remain poorly understood. Methods: In this study, we used single-cell RNA sequencing analyses to analyze the landscape of the TME modulated by TAMs in terms of a protumor microenvironment during early tumor development. Results: Our data revealed that the depletion of TAMs leads to a decreased epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signature in cancer cells and a distinct transcriptional state characterized by CD8+ T cell activation. Moreover, notable alterations in gene expression were observed upon the depletion of TAMs, identifying Galectin-1 (Gal-1) as a crucial molecular factor responsible for the observed effect. Gal-1 inhibition reversed immune suppression via the reinvigoration of CD8+ T cells, impairing tumor growth and potentiating immune checkpoint inhibitors in breast tumor models. Conclusion: These results provide comprehensive insights into TAM-mediated early tumor microenvironments and reveal immune evasion mechanisms that can be targeted by Gal-1 to induce antitumor immune responses.
  4. Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2024 Jan 03.
      Esophageal carcinoma, a lethal malignancy with limited treatment options and poor prognosis, necessitates understanding its underlying mechanisms and identifying novel therapeutic targets. Recent studies have highlighted the critical role of the immune microenvironment in esophageal carcinoma, particularly the interplay between tumor cells and immune cells mediated by exosomes and their cargos. Exosomes, small extracellular vesicles secreted by various cells, including tumor cells, facilitate intercellular communication by transferring bioactive molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids to recipient cells. In the context of esophageal carcinoma, tumor-derived exosomes have been shown to play a significant role in shaping the immune microenvironment. In esophageal carcinoma, exosomal cargos have been found to modulate immune cell function and impact tumor progression. These cargos can carry immune inhibitory molecules, such as programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), to suppress T-cell activity and promote immune evasion by tumor cells. Furthermore, exosomal cargos can activate antigen- presenting cells, enhancing their ability to present tumor-specific antigens to T cells and thereby promoting anti-tumor immune responses. Additionally, the cargos of exosomes have been implicated in the induction of immune regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) within the esophageal carcinoma microenvironment. These immunosuppressive effectors inhibit the activity of T cells, contributing to tumor immune evasion and resistance to immune therapies. In summary, exosomes and their cargo play a crucial role in the immune microenvironment of esophageal carcinoma. Understanding the mechanisms by which exosomal cargos regulate immune cell function and tumor progression may reveal novel therapeutic targets for this devastating disease.
    Keywords:  cargos; esophageal carcinoma; exosomes; immune microenvironment
  5. J Chemother. 2024 Jan 05. 1-30
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a crucial role in cancer progression and treatment response. It comprises a complex network of stromal cells, immune cells, extracellular matrix, and blood vessels, all of which interact with cancer cells and influence tumor behaviour. This review article provides an in-depth examination of the TME, focusing on stromal cells, blood vessels, signaling molecules, and ECM, along with commonly available therapeutic compounds that target these components. Moreover, we explore the TME as a novel strategy for discovering new anti-tumor drugs. The dynamic and adaptive nature of the TME offers opportunities for targeting specific cellular interactions and signaling pathways. We discuss emerging approaches, such as combination therapies that simultaneously target cancer cells and modulate the TME. Finally, we address the challenges and future prospects in targeting the TME. Overcoming drug resistance, improving drug delivery, and identifying new therapeutic targets within the TME are among the challenges discussed. We also highlight the potential of personalized medicine and the integration of emerging technologies, such as immunotherapy and nanotechnology, in TME-targeted therapies. This comprehensive review provides insights into the TME and its therapeutic implications. Understanding the TME's complexity and targeting its components offer promising avenues for the development of novel anti-tumor therapies and improved patient outcomes.
    Keywords:  Cancer associated Fibroblast; TME modulation; TME targeted therapies; angiogenesis; cytokines; eCM; immune microenvironment; immunotherapy; stromal cells
  6. Int J Biol Sci. 2024 ;20(2): 446-463
      Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has long been considered a major clinical challenge due to its aggressive behavior and poor prognosis. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are known as the main cells responsible for tumor origination, progression, recurrence and metastasis. Here, we report that M2-type tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) contribute to cancer stemness in TNBC cells via the secretion of VEGFA. Reciprocally, elevated VEGFA expression by TAM-educated TNBC cells acts as a regulator of macrophage polarization, therefore constitute a feed-back loop between TNBC cells and TAMs. Mechanistically, VEGFA facilitates the CSC phenotype via the NRP-1 receptor and downstream GAPVD1/Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in TNBC cells. Our study underscores the crosstalk between TNBC cells and TAMs mediated by VEGFA and further clarifies the role and underlying mechanisms of the VEGFA/NRP-1/GAPVD1 axis in regulating cancer stemness. We also document an immunosuppressive function of VEGFA in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Therefore, the present study indicates crosstalk between TNBC cells and TAMs induced by VEGFA and provides a potential implication for the combination of immunotherapy and VEGFA-targeted agents in TNBC therapy.
    Keywords:  Triple-negative breast cancer; VEGFA/NRP-1/GAPVD1 axis; cancer stem cell; tumor-associated macrophage.
  7. Front Pharmacol. 2023 ;14 1327717
      T cells play a pivotal role in the immune system by distinguishing between various harmful pathogens and cancerous cells within the human body and initiating an immune response. Within the tumor microenvironment (TME), immune effector T cells encounter both immunosuppressive cells and factors that hinder their functionality. Additionally, they endure robust and persistent antigenic stimulation, often leading to exhaustion and apoptosis. However, the stemness of T cells, characterized by their ability to survive and self-renew over extended periods, represents a primary target in immune checkpoint therapies such as anti-PD-1 therapy. T cell stemness encompasses specific memory T cell subsets and progenitor-exhausted T cells with stem cell-like properties. Therefore, understanding the impact of the TME on T cell stemness, including factors like K+, lactate, and H+, holds significant importance and can facilitate the mitigation of terminal T-cell depletion, the identification of potential resilient biomarkers or therapeutic targets resistant to immune checkpoint therapies, and ultimately lead to sustained anti-tumor effects. Thus, it offers a novel perspective for advancing tumor immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  H+; K+; cancer; lactate; tumor microenvironment
  8. Proteomics. 2024 Jan 03. e2300021
      The link between metabolism and tumor progression has been extensively researched for a long time. With the increasing number of studies uncovering the multiple functions of metabolic reprogramming in tumor microenvironments, the regulatory network seems to become even more intricate at the same time. Small extracellular vesicles (sEV), as crucial mediators facilitating intercellular communications, exhibit significant involvement in regulating metabolic reprogramming within the complicated network of tumor microenvironments. sEV derived from tumor cells and those released by other cell populations such as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) can mutually influence each other, giving rise to diverse complex feedback loops. This review includes multiple studies conducted in recent years to summarize the functions of sEV in altering metabolism in various cell types within tumor microenvironments. Additionally, it aims to highlight potential therapeutic targets based on the commonly observed mechanisms identified in different studies.
    Keywords:  small extracellular vesicles; tumor microenvironment
  9. Nat Biotechnol. 2024 Jan 02.
      The success of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy in treating several hematopoietic malignancies has been difficult to replicate in solid tumors, in part because of T cell exhaustion and eventually dysfunction. To counter T cell dysfunction in the tumor microenvironment, we metabolically armored CAR T cells by engineering them to secrete interleukin-10 (IL-10). We show that IL-10 CAR T cells preserve intact mitochondrial structure and function in the tumor microenvironment and increase oxidative phosphorylation in a mitochondrial pyruvate carrier-dependent manner. IL-10 secretion promoted proliferation and effector function of CAR T cells, leading to complete regression of established solid tumors and metastatic cancers across several cancer types in syngeneic and xenograft mouse models, including colon cancer, breast cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer. IL-10 CAR T cells also induced stem cell-like memory responses in lymphoid organs that imparted durable protection against tumor rechallenge. Our results establish a generalizable approach to counter CAR T cell dysfunction through metabolic armoring, leading to solid tumor eradication and long-lasting immune protection.
  10. Breast Cancer Res. 2024 Jan 05. 26(1): 5
      Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is highly aggressive with limited available treatments. Stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) are crucial in TNBC progression; however, understanding the molecular basis of stromal cell activation and tumor-stromal crosstalk in TNBC is limited. To investigate therapeutic targets in the TNBC stromal niche, we used an advanced human in vitro microphysiological system called the vascularized micro-tumor (VMT). Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we revealed that normal breast tissue stromal cells activate neoplastic signaling pathways in the TNBC TME. By comparing interactions in VMTs with clinical data, we identified therapeutic targets at the tumor-stromal interface with potential clinical significance. Combining treatments targeting Tie2 signaling with paclitaxel resulted in vessel normalization and increased efficacy of paclitaxel in the TNBC VMT. Dual inhibition of HER3 and Akt also showed efficacy against TNBC. These data demonstrate the potential of inducing a favorable TME as a targeted therapeutic approach in TNBC.
    Keywords:  Microphysiologic system; Triple-negative breast cancer; Tumor microenvironment
  11. Int J Biol Sci. 2024 ;20(1): 137-151
      Metastasis and limited benefits of immune checkpoint blockade are two obstacles to the battle against colorectal cancer (CRC). CD73, encoded by the gene 5'-Nucleotidase Ecto (NT5E), is a major enzyme that generates extracellular adenosine. However, whether CD73 affects cancer progression and immune response in CRC remains unclear. Here, the clinical significance of CD73 was assessed in human CRC specimens using immunohistochemistry and bioinformatic analyses. We demonstrated that CD73 is elevated in CRC tissues, particularly in those with metastasis, and correlates with poor prognosis. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments demonstrate that tumor CD73 supports tumor progression and impairs the viability and effector functions of CD8+ T cells. Targeting CD73 on CRC cells reduces their malignant phenotypes and improves the anti-cancer response of CD8+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Moreover, the combination of CD73 blockade and PD-1 inhibitors exhibited enhanced anti-cancer effects when compared to a single-agent treatment. Thus, CD73 may be a promising target in the treatment of CRC.
    Keywords:  CD73; colorectal cancer; immune checkpoint blockade; tumor immune; tumor progression
  12. Int J Biol Sci. 2024 ;20(2): 718-732
      As a crucial protumorigenic long noncoding RNA, colorectal tumor differential expression (CRNDE) has been confirmed to facilitate the progression of various cancers. However, its role in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still unclear. Here we determined that CRNDE was upregulated in HCC samples and that CRNDE-positive cells were predominantly enriched in malignant tumor cells. In vivo functional assays revealed that CRNDE-induced tumor cells supported HCC progression, recruited abundant granulocyte myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) and restricted the infiltration of T cells. In terms of mechanisms, CRNDE bound with Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and activated NF-κB signaling to increase the secretion of c-x-c motif chemokine ligand 3 (CXCL3). CRNDE knockdown could significantly suppress the accumulation of G-MDSCs and enhance the infiltration of T cells in the TME of HCC in vivo. Taken together, our study reveals the CRNDE-NF-κB-CXCL3 axis plays a crucial role in driving the immunosuppressive niche to facilitate HCC progression by recruiting G-MDSCs.
    Keywords:  C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 3; Colorectal tumor differential expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Myeloid-derived suppressor cell; Tumor microenvironment
  13. Cell Mol Immunol. 2024 Jan 04.
      Despite the tremendous progress of chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy in hematological malignancies, their application in solid tumors has been limited largely due to T-cell exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and systemic toxicity caused by excessive cytokine release. As a key regulator of the immunosuppressive TME, TGF-β promotes cytokine synthesis via the NF-κB pathway. Here, we coexpressed SMAD7, a suppressor of TGF-β signaling, with a HER2-targeted CAR in engineered T cells. These novel CAR-T cells displayed high cytolytic efficacy and were resistant to TGF-β-triggered exhaustion, which enabled sustained tumoricidal capacity after continuous antigen exposure. Moreover, SMAD7 substantially reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines by antigen-primed CAR-T cells. Mechanistically, SMAD7 downregulated TGF-β receptor I and abrogated the interplay between the TGF-β and NF-κB pathways in CAR-T cells. As a result, these CAR-T cells persistently inhibited tumor growth and promoted the survival of tumor-challenged mice regardless of the hostile tumor microenvironment caused by a high concentration of TGF-β. SMAD7 coexpression also enhanced CAR-T-cell infiltration and persistent activation in patient-derived tumor organoids. Therefore, our study demonstrated the feasibility of SMAD7 coexpression as a novel approach to improve the efficacy and safety of CAR-T-cell therapy for solid tumors.
    Keywords:  CAR-T-cell therapy; Cytokine release syndrome (CRS); NF-κB pathway; SMAD7; TGF-β pathway
  14. J Proteome Res. 2024 Jan 03.
      Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are key regulators in tumor progression, but the precise role of bone marrow-derived monocytes (Mons) as TAM precursors and their dynamic phenotypes regulated by the tumor microenvironment (TME) remain unclear. Here, we developed an optimized microproteomics workflow to analyze low-cell-number mouse myeloid cells. We sorted TAMs and their corresponding Mons (1 × 105 per sample) from individual melanoma mouse models at both the early and late stages. We established the protein expression profiles for these cells by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, we analyzed the dynamics phenotypes of TAMs and identified a characteristic protein expression profile characterized by upregulated cholesterol metabolism and downregulated immune responses during tumor progression. Moreover, we found the downregulation of both STAT5 and PYCARD expression not only in late-stage TAMs but also in late-stage Mons, indicating a loss of the ability to induce inflammatory responses prior to Mons infiltration into TME. Taken together, our study provides valuable insights into the progression-dependent transitions between TAMs and their precursor cells, as well as the cross-organ communications of tumor and bone marrow.
    Keywords:  bone marrow-derived monocytes; proteomics; tumor progression; tumor-associated macrophages
  15. Eur J Cancer. 2023 Dec 24. pii: S0959-8049(23)00823-7. [Epub ahead of print]198 113521
      PURPOSE: Our previous study revealed that elevated C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) secretion by irradiated cancer cells recruited C-C motif chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)-positive myeloid cells and polarized M2-type tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), promoting lung metastasis in an established mouse model. This study investigated the impact of CCL2 and TAMs on adaptive immunity.METHODS: We assessed the influence of CCL2 and TAMs on adaptive immunity through two ectopic allograft mouse models constructed with MB49 bladder cancer cells and Lewis lung carcinoma cells. Both models exhibited delayed primary tumor growth following radiation therapy (RT), but RT promoted the development of pulmonary metastases in C57BL/6 mice. Additionally, we employed a direct coculture system to investigate the interaction between macrophages and target cells in the context of adaptive immunity.
    RESULTS: C-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4)-positive regulatory T cells (Tregs) were recruited to the postirradiated tumor microenvironment (TME). Utilizing a CCR4 antagonist to inhibit CCL2-CCR4 activation reversed the infiltration of CCR4 + Tregs and reduced the incidence of pulmonary metastases. In addition, a positive feedback loop between M2-type TAMs and Tregs was observed. The combined blockade of the CCL2-CCR4 and CCL2-CCR2 signaling pathways further decreased the risk of RT-promoted lung metastasis.
    CONCLUSION: The recruitment of CCR4 + Tregs to the postirradiated TME increases the metastatic potential of tumor cells through increased interactions with M2-type TAMs. A significant reduction in post-RT lung metastases in ectopic mouse models was achieved by disrupting the recruitment of both CCR4 + Tregs and CCR2 + myeloid cells, which are TAM precursors.
    Keywords:  CCR4; Radiotherapy; Regulatory T cells; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor-associated macrophage
  16. Res Sq. 2023 Dec 12. pii: [Epub ahead of print]
      Disrupted lipid metabolism is a characteristic of gliomas. This study utilizes an ultrastructural approach to characterize the prevalence and distribution of lipids within gliomas. This study made use of tissue from IDH1 wild type (IDH1-wt) glioblastoma (n = 18) and IDH1 mutant (IDH1-mt) astrocytoma (n = 12) tumors. We uncover a prevalent and intriguing surplus of lipids. The bulk of the lipids manifested as sizable cytoplasmic inclusions and extracellular deposits in the tumor microenvironment (TME); in some tumors the lipids were stored in the classical membraneless spheroidal lipid droplets (LDs). Frequently, lipids accumulated inside mitochondria, suggesting possible dysfunction of the beta-oxidation pathway. Additionally, the tumor vasculature have lipid deposits in their lumen and vessel walls; this lipid could have shifted in from the tumor microenvironment or have been produced by the vessel-invading tumor cells. Lipid excess in gliomas stems from disrupted beta-oxidation and dysfunctional oxidative phosphorylation pathways. The implications of this lipid-driven environment include structural support for the tumor cells and protection against immune responses, non-lipophilic drugs, and free radicals.
  17. Commun Med (Lond). 2024 Jan 03. 4(1): 2
      BACKGROUND: The role of immune cells in collagen degradation within the tumor microenvironment (TME) is unclear. Immune cells, particularly tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), are known to alter the extracellular matrix, affecting cancer progression and patient survival. However, the quantitative evaluation of the immune modulatory impact on collagen architecture within the TME remains limited.METHODS: We introduce CollaTIL, a computational pathology method that quantitatively characterizes the immune-collagen relationship within the TME of gynecologic cancers, including high-grade serous ovarian (HGSOC), cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC), and endometrial carcinomas. CollaTIL aims to investigate immune modulatory impact on collagen architecture within the TME, aiming to uncover the interplay between the immune system and tumor progression.
    RESULTS: We observe that an increased immune infiltrate is associated with chaotic collagen architecture and higher entropy, while immune sparse TME exhibits ordered collagen and lower entropy. Importantly, CollaTIL-associated features that stratify disease risk are linked with gene signatures corresponding to TCA-Cycle in CSCC, and amino acid metabolism, and macrophages in HGSOC.
    CONCLUSIONS: CollaTIL uncovers a relationship between immune infiltration and collagen structure in the TME of gynecologic cancers. Integrating CollaTIL with genomic analysis offers promising opportunities for future therapeutic strategies and enhanced prognostic assessments in gynecologic oncology.
  18. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2024 Feb;39(1): 1-11
      Breast cancer is among the most prevalent malignancies in women worldwide. Epidemiological findings suggested that periodontal diseases may be associated with breast cancer, among which Fusobacterium nucleatum is considered an important cross-participant. In this work, we comprehensively summarize the known mechanisms of how F. nucleatum translocates to, colonizes in mammary tumors, and promotes the carcinogenesis. Specifically, F. nucleatum translocates to mammary tissue through the mammary-intestinal axis, direct nipple contact, and hematogenous transmission. Subsequently, F. nucleatum takes advantage of fusobacterium autotransporter protein 2 to colonize breast cancer and uses virulence factors fusobacterium adhesin A and lipopolysaccharide to promote proliferation. Moreover, the upregulated matrix metalloproteinase-9 induced by F. nucleatum does not only trigger the inflammatory response but also facilitates the tumor-promoting microenvironment. Aside from the pro-inflammatory effect, F. nucleatum may also be engaged in tumor immune evasion, which is achieved through the action of virulence factors on immune checkpoint receptors highly expressed on T cells, natural killer cells, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Taking breast cancer as an example, more relevant research studies may expand our current knowledge of how oral microbes affect systemic health. Hopefully, exploring these mechanisms in depth could provide new strategies for safer and more effective biologic and targeted therapies targeted at breast cancer.
    Keywords:  Fusobacterium nucleatum; breast cancer; immunomodulation; periodontal disease; tumorigenesis
  19. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1308890
      Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are emerging cancer therapeutics that offer a multifaceted therapeutic platform for the benefits of replicating and lysing tumor cells, being engineered to express transgenes, modulating the tumor microenvironment (TME), and having a tolerable safety profile that does not overlap with other cancer therapeutics. The mechanism of OVs combined with other antitumor agents is based on immune-mediated attack resistance and might benefit patients who fail to achieve durable responses after immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment. In this Review, we summarize data on the OV mechanism and limitations of monotherapy, which are currently in the process of combination partner development, especially with ICIs. We discuss some of the hurdles that have limited the preclinical and clinical development of OVs. We also describe the available data and provide guidance for optimizing OVs in clinical practice, as well as a summary of approved and promising novel OVs with clinical indications.
    Keywords:  antitumor immunity; challenges; combination therapy; immune checkpoint inhibitor; oncolytic viruses (OVs)
  20. ACS Nano. 2024 Jan 05.
      Mutation burden, hypoxia, and immunoediting contribute to altered metabolic profiles in tumor cells, resulting in a tumor microenvironment (TME) characterized by accumulation of toxic metabolites and depletion of various nutrients, which significantly hinder the antitumor immunity via multiple mechanisms, hindering the efficacy of tumor immunotherapies. In-depth investigation of the mechanisms underlying these phenomena are vital for developing effective antitumor drugs and therapies, while the therapeutic effects of metabolism-targeting drugs are restricted by off-target toxicity toward effector immune cells and high dosage-mediated side effects. Nanotechnologies, which exhibit versatility and plasticity in targeted delivery and metabolism modulation, have been widely applied to boost tumor immunometabolic therapies via multiple strategies, including targeting of metabolic pathways. In this review, recent advances in understanding the roles of tumor cell metabolism in both immunoevasion and immunosuppression are reviewed, and nanotechnology-based metabolic reprogramming strategies for enhanced tumor immunotherapies are discussed.
    Keywords:  Adaptive immunity; Innate immunity; Metabolism; Metabolites; Nanotechnology; Tumor heterogenicity; Tumor immunotherapy; Tumor microenvironment
  21. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2024 Jan 04. 73(1): 1
      BACKGROUND: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the predominant immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and portend poor prognosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the tumor promotion of TAMs have not been fully elucidated.METHODS: Coculture of gastric cancer cells with U937 cells was performed to investigate the impact of TAMs on cancer cell behavior. MicroRNA (miRNA) microarray and bioinformatics were applied to identify the involved miRNAs and the functional target genes. The regulation of the miRNA on its target gene was studied using anti-miRNA and miRNA mimic.
    RESULTS: Coculture with CD204+ M2-like TAMs increased proliferation, migration, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. MiR-210 was the most upregulated miRNA in cancer cells identified by miRNA microarray after coculture. In gastric cancer tissues, miR-210 expression was positively correlated with CD204+ M2-like TAM infiltration. Inactivation of miR-210 by antimir attenuated CD204+ M2-like TAMs-induced cancer cell migration. Using pharmacological inhibitors and neutralizing antibodies, CD204+ M2-like TAMs-secreted TNFα was found to upregulate miR-210 through NF-κB/HIF-1α signaling. Bioinformatics analysis showed netrin-4 (NTN4) as a potential target of miR-210 to suppress gastric cancer cell migration. We also found an inverse expression between miR-210 and NTN4 in cancer cells after coculture or in tumor xenografts. Anti-miR-210 increased NTN4 expression, while miR-210 mimics downregulated NTN4 in cancer cells. Reporter luciferase assays showed that MiR-210 mimics suppressed NTN4 3' untranslated region-driven luciferase activity in cancer cells, but this effect was blocked after mutating miR-210 binding site.
    CONCLUSIONS: CD204+ M2-like TAMs can utilize the TNF-α/NF-κB/HIF-1α/miR-210/NTN4 pathway to facilitate gastric cancer progression.
    Keywords:  Gastric cancer; Migration; NTN4; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor-associated macrophage; miR-210
  22. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2024 Jan 04.
      Cytosolic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is frequently accumulated in cancer cells due to chromosomal instability or exogenous stimulation. Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) acts as a cytosolic DNA sensor, which is activated upon binding to dsDNA to synthesize the crucial second messenger 2'3'-cyclic GMP-AMP (2'3'-cGAMP) that in turn triggers stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signaling. The canonical role of cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway is essential for innate immunity and viral defense. Recent emerging evidence indicates that 2'3'-cGAMP plays an important role in cancer progression via cell autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms. Beyond its role as an intracellular messenger to activate STING signaling in tumor cells, 2'3'-cGAMP also serves as an immunotransmitter produced by cancer cells to modulate the functions of non-tumor cells especially immune cells in the tumor microenvironment by activating STING signaling. In this review, we summarize the synthesis, transmission, and degradation of 2'3'-cGAMP as well as the dual functions of 2'3'-cGAMP in a STING-dependent manner. Additionally, we discuss the potential therapeutic strategies that harness the cGAMP-mediated antitumor response for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  2’3’-cGAMP; CDNs; ENPP1; TREX1; cGAS-STING; tumor microenvironment
  23. Mol Pharm. 2024 Jan 03.
      Cancer immunotherapy is a treatment method that activates or enhances the autoimmune response of the body to fight tumor growth and metastasis, has fewer toxic side effects and a longer-lasting efficacy than radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and has become an important means for the clinical treatment of cancer. However, clinical results from immunotherapy have shown that most patients lack responsiveness to immunotherapy and cannot benefit from this treatment strategy. The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a critical role in the response to immunotherapy. The TME typically prevents effective lymphocyte activation, reducing their infiltration, and inhibiting the infiltration of effector T cells. According to the characteristic differences between the TME and normal tissues, various nanoplatforms with TME targeting and regulation properties have been developed for more precise regulation of the TME and have the ability to codeliver a variety of active pharmaceutical ingredients, thereby reducing systemic toxicity and improving the therapeutic effect of antitumor. In addition, the precise structural design of the nanoplatform can integrate specific functional motifs, such as surface-targeted ligands, degradable backbones, and TME stimulus-responsive components, into nanomedicines, thereby reshaping the tumor microenvironment, improving the body's immunosuppressive state, and enhancing the permeability of drugs in tumor tissues, in order to achieve controlled and stimulus-triggered release of load cargo. In this review, the physiological characteristics of the TME and the latest research regarding the application of TME-regulated nanoplatforms in improving antitumor immunotherapy will be described. Furthermore, the existing problems and further applications perspectives of TME-regulated platforms for cancer immunotherapy will also be discussed.
    Keywords:  cancer immunotherapy; hypoxia; lactate; nanoplatforms; tumor microenvironment