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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00604

Targeted APC activation in cancer immunotherapy to enhance the abscopal effect

  • 1Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States
  • 2Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, United States

In oncology, the ‘abscopal effect’ refers to the therapeutic effect on a distant tumor resulting from the treatment of local tumor (e.g., ablation, injection, or radiation). Typically associated with radiation, the abscopal effect is thought to be mediated by a systemic antitumor immune response that is induced by two concurrent changes at the treated tumor: (1) the release of tumor antigens and (2) the exposure of damage-associated molecular patterns. Therapies that produce these changes are associated with immunogenic cell death (ICD). Some interventions have been shown to cause an abscopal effect without inducing the release of tumor antigens, suggesting that release of tumor antigens at baseline plays a significant role in mediating the abscopal effect. With tumor antigens already present, therapies that target activation of APCs alone may be sufficient to enhance the abscopal effect. Here, we discuss two therapies targeted at APC activation, TLR9 and CD40 agonists, and their use in the clinic to enhance the abscopal effect.

Keywords: abscopal effect, APC activation, DC, Immunogenic cell death (ICD), CD40L, TLR9

Received: 10 Oct 2018; Accepted: 07 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Cristina Bonorino, Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Zong Sheng Guo, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, United States
Amod A. Sarnaik, Moffitt Cancer Center, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Suek and Khalil. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Danny Khalil, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States, khalild@mskcc.org