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      Natural killer cells and other innate lymphoid cells in cancer

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          NK Cells Stimulate Recruitment of cDC1 into the Tumor Microenvironment Promoting Cancer Immune Control

          Summary Conventional type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1) are critical for antitumor immunity, and their abundance within tumors is associated with immune-mediated rejection and the success of immunotherapy. Here, we show that cDC1 accumulation in mouse tumors often depends on natural killer (NK) cells that produce the cDC1 chemoattractants CCL5 and XCL1. Similarly, in human cancers, intratumoral CCL5, XCL1, and XCL2 transcripts closely correlate with gene signatures of both NK cells and cDC1 and are associated with increased overall patient survival. Notably, tumor production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) leads to evasion of the NK cell-cDC1 axis in part by impairing NK cell viability and chemokine production, as well as by causing downregulation of chemokine receptor expression in cDC1. Our findings reveal a cellular and molecular checkpoint for intratumoral cDC1 recruitment that is targeted by tumor-derived PGE2 for immune evasion and that could be exploited for cancer therapy.
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            The PD-1/PD-L1 axis modulates the natural killer cell versus multiple myeloma effect: a therapeutic target for CT-011, a novel monoclonal anti-PD-1 antibody.

            T-cell expression of programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) down-regulates the immune response against malignancy by interacting with cognate ligands (eg, PD-L1) on tumor cells; however, little is known regarding PD-1 and natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells exert cytotoxicity against multiple myeloma (MM), an effect enhanced through novel therapies. We show that NK cells from MM patients express PD-1 whereas normal NK cells do not and confirm PD-L1 on primary MM cells. Engagement of PD-1 with PD-L1 should down-modulate the NK-cell versus MM effect. We demonstrate that CT-011, a novel anti-PD-1 antibody, enhances human NK-cell function against autologous, primary MM cells, seemingly through effects on NK-cell trafficking, immune complex formation with MM cells, and cytotoxicity specifically toward PD-L1(+) MM tumor cells but not normal cells. We show that lenalidomide down-regulates PD-L1 on primary MM cells and may augment CT-011's enhancement of NK-cell function against MM. We demonstrate a role for the PD-1/PD-L1 signaling axis in the NK-cell immune response against MM and a role for CT-011 in enhancing the NK-cell versus MM effect. A phase 2 clinical trial of CT-011 in combination with lenalidomide for patients with MM should be considered.
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              Human breast cancer cells enhance self tolerance by promoting evasion from NK cell antitumor immunity.

              NK cells are a major component of the antitumor immune response and are involved in controlling tumor progression and metastases in animal models. Here, we show that dysfunction of these cells accompanies human breast tumor progression. We characterized human peripheral blood NK (p-NK) cells and malignant mammary tumor-infiltrating NK (Ti-NK) cells from patients with noninvasive and invasive breast cancers. NK cells isolated from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and normal breast tissue were used as controls. With disease progression, we found that expression of activating NK cell receptors (such as NKp30, NKG2D, DNAM-1, and CD16) decreased while expression of inhibitory receptors (such as NKG2A) increased and that this correlated with decreased NK cell function, most notably cytotoxicity. Importantly, Ti-NK cells had more pronounced impairment of their cytotoxic potential than p-NK cells. We also identified several stroma-derived factors, including TGF-β1, involved in tumor-induced reduction of normal NK cell function. Our data therefore show that breast tumor progression involves NK cell dysfunction and that breast tumors model their environment to evade NK cell antitumor immunity. This highlights the importance of developing future therapies able to restore NK cell cytotoxicity to limit/prevent tumor escape from antitumor immunity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Immunology
                Nat Rev Immunol
                Springer Nature America, Inc
                1474-1733
                1474-1741
                September 12 2018
                Article
                10.1038/s41577-018-0061-z
                © 2018

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