Antiangiogenic agents can increase lymphocyte infiltration into tumor and enhance the effectiveness of adoptive immunotherapy of cancer

Rajeev K. Shrimali, Zhiya Yu, Marc R. Theoret, Dhanalakshmi Chinnasamy, Nicholas P. Restifo, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

318 Scopus citations


Adoptive cell transfer (ACT)-based immunotherapies can mediate objective cancer regression in animal models and in up to 70% of patients with metastatic melanoma; however, it remains unclear whether the tumor vasculature impedes the egress of tumor-specific T cells, thus hindering this immunotherapy. Disruption of the proangiogenic interaction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with its receptor (VEGFR-2) has been reported to "normalize" tumor vasculature, enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents by increasing their delivery to the tumor intersitium. We thus sought to determine whether disrupting VEGF/VEGFR-2 signaling could enhance the effectiveness of ACT in a murine cancer model. The administration of an antibody against mouse VEGF synergized with ACT to enhance inhibition of established, vascularized, B16 melanoma (P = 0.009) and improve survival (P = 0.003). Additive effects of an antibody against VEGFR-2 in conjunction with ACT were seen in this model (P = 0.013). Anti-VEGF, but not anti-VEGFR-2, antibody significantly increased infiltration of transferred cells into the tumor. Thus, normalization of tumor vasculature through disruption of the VEGF/VEGFR-2 axis can increase extravasation of adoptively transferred T cells into the tumor and improve ACT-based immunotherapy. These studies provide a rationale for the exploration of combining antiangiogenic agents with ACT for the treatment of patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6171-6180
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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