ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: To determine whether combination therapy with NHS-muIL12 and the anti-programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody avelumab can enhance antitumor efficacy in preclinical models relative to monotherapies.Experimental Design: BALB/c mice bearing orthotopic EMT-6 mammary tumors and μMt− mice bearing subcutaneous MC38 tumors were treated with NHS-muIL12, avelumab, or combination therapy; tumor growth and survival were assessed. Tumor recurrence following remission and rechallenge was evaluated in EMT-6 tumor-bearing mice. Immune cell populations within spleen and tumors were evaluated by FACS and IHC. Immune gene expression in tumor tissue was profiled by NanoString® assay and plasma cytokine levels were determined by multiplex cytokine assay. The frequency of tumor antigen–reactive IFNγ-producing CD8+ T cells was evaluated by ELISpot assay.Results: NHS-muIL12 and avelumab combination therapy enhanced antitumor efficacy relative to either monotherapy in both tumor models. Most EMT-6 tumor–bearing mice treated with combination therapy had complete tumor regression. Combination therapy also induced the generation of tumor-specific immune memory, as demonstrated by protection against tumor rechallenge and induction of effector and memory T cells. Combination therapy enhanced cytotoxic NK and CD8+ T-cell proliferation and T-bet expression, whereas NHS-muIL12 monotherapy induced CD8+ T-cell infiltration into the tumor. Combination therapy also enhanced plasma cytokine levels and stimulated expression of a greater number of innate and adaptive immune genes compared with either monotherapy.Conclusions: These data indicate that combination therapy with NHS-muIL12 and avelumab increased antitumor efficacy in preclinical models, and suggest that combining NHS-IL12 and avelumab may be a promising approach to treating patients with solid tumors. Clin Cancer Res; 23(19); 5869–80. ©2017 AACR.