Volcano plots for EDIL3, MFGE8 and CTNNB1, with each spot representing Kendall rank correlation for dysfunction or exclusion across TCGA tumor types.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTImmune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has become the standard of care for several solid tumors. Multiple combinatorial approaches have been studied to improve therapeutic efficacy. The combination of antiangiogenic agents and ICB has demonstrated efficacy in several cancers. To improve the mechanistic understanding of synergies with these treatment modalities, we performed screens of sera from long-term responding patients treated with ipilimumab and bevacizumab. We discovered a high-titer antibody response against EGF-like repeats and discoidin I–like domains protein 3 (EDIL3) that correlated with favorable clinical outcomes. EDIL3 is an extracellular protein, previously identified as a marker of poor prognosis in various malignancies. Our Tumor Immune Dysfunction and Exclusion analysis predicted that EDIL3 was associated with immune exclusion signatures for cytotoxic immune cell infiltration and nonresponse to ICB. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) were predicted as the source of EDIL3 in immune exclusion–related cells. Furthermore, The Cancer Genome Atlas Skin Cutaneous Melanoma (TCGA-SKCM) and CheckMate 064 data analyses correlated high levels of EDIL3 with increased pan-fibroblast TGFβ response, enrichment of angiogenic signatures, and induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Our in vitro studies validated EDIL3 overexpression and TGFβ regulation in patient-derived CAFs. In pretreatment serum samples from patients, circulating levels of EDIL3 were associated with circulating levels of VEGF, and like VEGF, EDIL3 increased the angiogenic abilities of patient-derived tumor endothelial cells (TEC). Mechanistically, three-dimensional microfluidic cultures and two-dimensional transmigration assays with TEC endorsed EDIL3-mediated disruption of the lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1)–ICAM-1 interaction as a possible means of T-cell exclusion. We propose EDIL3 as a potential target for improving the transendothelial migration of immune cells and efficacy of ICB therapy.