Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Naito Foundation (内藤記念科学振興財団)
Shinnihon Foundation of Advanced Medical Treatment Research (公益財団法人 新日本先進医療研究財団)
Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly)
Fusion Oriented REsearch for disruptive Science and Technology (FOREST)
ARTICLE ABSTRACTExcess stroma and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) enhance cancer progression and facilitate immune evasion. Insights into the mechanisms by which the stroma manipulates the immune microenvironment could help improve cancer treatment. Here, we aimed to elucidate potential approaches for stromal reprogramming and improved cancer immunotherapy. Platelet-derived growth factor C (PDGFC) and D expression were significantly associated with a poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer, and PDGF receptor beta (PDGFRβ) was predominantly expressed in diffuse-type gastric cancer stroma. CAFs stimulated with PDGFs exhibited markedly increased expression of CXCL1, CXCL3, CXCL5, and CXCL8, which are involved in polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cell (PMN-MDSC) recruitment. Fibrotic gastric cancer xenograft tumors exhibited increased PMN-MDSC accumulation and decreased lymphocyte infiltration, as well as resistance to anti–PD-1. Single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics revealed that PDGFRα/β blockade reversed the immunosuppressive microenvironment through stromal modification. Finally, combining PDGFRα/β blockade and anti–PD-1 treatment synergistically suppressed the growth of fibrotic tumors. These findings highlight the impact of stromal reprogramming on immune reactivation and the potential for combined immunotherapy for patients with fibrotic cancer.
Stromal targeting with PDGFRα/β dual blockade reverses the immunosuppressive microenvironment and enhances the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in fibrotic cancer.See related commentary by Tauriello, p. 655