Modulation of myeloid and T cells in vivo by Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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J Immunother Cancer


oregon; ppmc; Humans; Adenocarcinoma; Antineoplastic Agents; Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal; Gemcitabine; Pancreatic Neoplasms; Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor; Tumor Microenvironment; Tyrosine Protein Kinase Inhibitors


BACKGROUND: In preclinical studies of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), ibrutinib improved the antitumor efficacy of the standard of care chemotherapy. This led to a phase 1b clinical trial to determine the safety, tolerability, and immunologic effects of ibrutinib treatment in patients with advanced PDAC.

METHODS: Previously untreated patients with PDAC were enrolled in a phase 1b clinical trial ( to determine the safety, toxicity, and maximal tolerated dose of ibrutinib when administered with the standard regimen of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. To study the immune response to ibrutinib alone, the trial included an immune response arm where patients were administered with ibrutinib daily for a week followed by ibrutinib combined with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided primary PDAC tumor biopsies and blood were collected before and after ibrutinib monotherapy. Changes in abundance and functional state of immune cells in the blood was evaluated by mass cytometry by time of flight and statistical scaffold analysis, while that in the local tumor microenvironment (TME) were assessed by multiplex immunohistochemistry. Changes in B-cell receptor and T-cell receptor repertoire were assessed by sequencing and analysis of clonality.

RESULTS: In the blood, ibrutinib monotherapy significantly increased the frequencies of activated inducible T cell costimulator

CONCLUSION: Ibrutinib monotherapy skewed the immune landscape both in the circulation and TME towards activated T cells, monocytes and DCs. These effects were not observed when combining ibrutinib with standard of care chemotherapy. Future studies may focus on other therapeutic combinations that augment the immunomodulatory effects of ibrutinib in solid tumors.


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