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J Immunother Cancer


Background: Traditional tumor thermal ablations, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and cryoablation, can result in good local control of tumor, but traditional tumor thermal ablations are limited by poor long-term survival due to the failure of control of distal metastasis. Our previous studies developed a novel cryo-thermal therapy to treat the B16F10 melanoma mouse model. Long-term survival and T-cell-mediated durable antitumor immunity were achieved after cryo-thermal therapy, but whether tumor antigen-specific T-cells were augmented by cryo-thermal therapy was not determined.

Methods: The long-term antitumor therapeutic efficacy of cryo-thermal therapy was performed in B16F10 murine melanoma models. Splenocytes derived from mice treated with RFA or cryo-thermal therapy were coincubated with tumor antigen peptides to detect the frequency of antigen specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells by flow cytometry. Splenocytes were then stimulated and expanded by αCD3 or peptides and adoptive T-cell therapy experiments were performed to identify the antitumor efficacy of T-cells induced by RFA and cryo-thermal therapy. Naïve mice and tumor-bearing mice were used as control groups.

Results: Local cryo-thermal therapy generated a stronger systematic antitumor immune response than RFA and a long-lasting antitumor immunity that protected against tumor rechallenge. In vitro studies showed that the antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell response was induced by both cryo-thermal therapy and RFA, but the strong neoantigen-specific CD4+ T-cell response was only induced by cryo-thermal therapy. Cryo-thermal therapy-induced strong antitumor immune response was mainly mediated by CD4+ T-cells, particularly neoantigen-specific CD4+ T-cells.

Conclusion: Cryo-thermal therapy induced a stronger and broader antigen-specific memory T-cells. Specifically, cryo-thermal therapy, but not RFA, led to a strong neoantigen-specific CD4+ T-cell response that mediated the resistance to tumor challenge.

Clinical Institute





Earle A. Chiles Research Institute