Late-stage tumor regression after PD-L1 blockade plus a concurrent OX40 agonist

Fanny Polesso, Andrew D. Weinberg, Amy E. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The protective capability of tumor antigen-specific T cells is regulated by costimulatory and inhibitory signals. Current approaches in cancer immunotherapy seek to restore the function of unresponsive T cells by blocking inhibitory pathways. In contrast, providing exogenous costimulatory signals to T cells also enhances antitumor functionality. By combining these two clinical approaches, we demonstrate the synergy of targeting PD-L1 together with the costimulatory molecule OX40, to enhance antitumor immunity. Concurrently blocking PD-L1 and providing a costimulatory agonist to OX40 increased the presence and functionality of tumor antigen-specific CD8 + T cells with simultaneous enhancement of T-helper type 1 (Th1)-skewed CD4 + T cells. This shift was functionally supported by increased glucose metabolism of antigen-specific CD8 + T cells and the acquisition of granzyme B by regulatory T cells. Together, this mechanism promoted tumor regression of late-stage tumors beyond that achieved by either blockade as monotherapy. These findings indicate that targeting both T-cell intrinsic (OX40) and extrinsic (PD-L1) regulatory molecules increases the bioenergetic potential of T cells, thereby expanding functional and tumor antigen-specific T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research


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