Early T Cell Infiltration Correlates with Anti-CTLA4 Treatment Response in Murine Cancer Models

Andrew A. Almonte, George Cavic, Christina S.E. Carroll, Teresa Neeman, Aude M. Fahrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) Abs are a revolutionary class of cancer treatment, but only ~30% of patients receive a lasting benefit from therapy. Preclinical studies using animals from the same genetic backgrounds, challenged with the same cancer models, also show nonuniform responses. Most mouse studies that have evaluated tumor-infiltrating leukocytes after ICI therapy cannot directly correlate their findings with treatment outcomes, because terminal methods were used to acquire immune infiltrate data. In the present study, we used fine-needle aspiration (a nonterminal sampling method) to collect multiple aspirates over several days from s.c. implanted P815, CT26, and 4T1 mouse cancer models treated with ICI Abs. These aspirates were then analyzed with flow cytometry to directly correlate tumor-infiltrating leukocyte populations with treatment success. We found that the P815 and CT26 models respond well to anti-CTLA4 therapies. Among P815-challenged animals, mice that regressed following anti-CTLA4 treatment showed significant increases in CD8+ T cells on days 3, 5, and 7 and in CD4+ T cells on days 5 and 7 and a decrease in macrophages and monocytes on days 3, 5, and 7 after treatment. Similar results were obtained in the CT26 model on day 11 posttreatment. Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to directly correlate early tumor infiltration of T cells with anti-CTLA4 treatment success, thus providing a mechanistic clue toward understanding why alloidentical mice challenged with identical tumors do not respond uniformly to ICI therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1858-1867
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023


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