Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    CD73 promotes anthracycline resistance and poor prognosis in triple negative breast cancer
    Loi, S ; Pommey, S ; Haibe-Kains, B ; Beavis, PA ; Darcy, PK ; Smyth, MJ ; Stagg, J (NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2013-07-02)
    Using gene-expression data from over 6,000 breast cancer patients, we report herein that high CD73 expression is associated with a poor prognosis in triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). Because anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens are standard treatment for TNBC, we investigated the relationship between CD73 and anthracycline efficacy. In TNBC patients treated with anthracycline-only preoperative chemotherapy, high CD73 gene expression was significantly associated with a lower rate of pathological complete response or the disappearance of invasive tumor at surgery. Using mouse models of breast cancer, we demonstrated that CD73 overexpression in tumor cells conferred chemoresistance to doxorubicin, a commonly used anthracycline, by suppressing adaptive antitumor immune responses via activation of A2A adenosine receptors. Targeted blockade of CD73 enhanced doxorubicin-mediated antitumor immune responses and significantly prolonged the survival of mice with established metastatic breast cancer. Taken together, our data suggest that CD73 constitutes a therapeutic target in TNBC.
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    TIM3+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells are tissue-specific promoters of T-cell dysfunction in cancer
    Sakuishi, K ; Ngiow, SF ; Sullivan, JM ; Teng, MWL ; Kuchroo, VK ; Smyth, MJ ; Anderson, AC (TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2013-04-01)
    T-cell immunoglobulin mucin 3 (TIM3) is an inhibitory molecule that has emerged as a key regulator of dysfunctional or exhausted CD8+ T cells arising in chronic diseases such as cancer. In addition to exhausted CD8+ T cells, highly suppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) represent a significant barrier against the induction of antitumor immunity. We have found that the majority of intratumoral FOXP3+ Tregs express TIM3. TIM3+ Tregs co-express PD-1, are highly suppressive and comprise a specialized subset of tissue Tregs that are rarely observed in the peripheral tissues or blood of tumor-bearing mice. The co-blockade of the TIM3 and PD-1 signaling pathways in vivo results in the downregulation of molecules associated with TIM3+ Treg suppressor functions. This suggests that the potent clinical efficacy of co-blocking TIM3 and PD-1 signal transduction cascades likely stems from the reversal of T-cell exhaustion combined with the inhibition of regulatory T-cell function in tumor tissues. Interestingly, we find that TIM3+ Tregs accumulate in the tumor tissue prior to the appearance of exhausted CD8+ T cells, and that the depletion of Tregs at this stage interferes with the development of the exhausted phenotype by CD8+ T cells. Collectively, our data indicate that TIM3 marks highly suppressive tissue-resident Tregs that play an important role in shaping the antitumor immune response in situ, increasing the value of TIM3-targeting therapeutic strategies against cancer.