Enhancement of the anti-melanoma response of Hu14.18K322A by αCD40 + CpG
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Targeted monoclonal antibodies (mAb) can be used therapeutically for tumors with identifiable antigens such as disialoganglioside GD2, expressed on neuroblastoma and melanoma tumors. Anti-GD2 mAbs (αGD2) can provide clinical benefit in patients with neuroblastoma. An important mechanism of mAb therapy is antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Combinatorial therapeutic strategies can dramatically increase the anti-tumor response elicited by mAbs. We combined a novel αGD2 mAb, hu14.18K322A, with an immunostimulatory regimen of agonist CD40 mAb and class B CpG-ODN 1826 (CpG). Combination immunotherapy was more effective than the single therapeutic components in a syngeneic model of GD2-expressing B16 melanoma with minimal tumor burden. NK cell depletion in B6 mice showed that NK cells were required for the anti-tumor effect; however, anti-tumor responses were also observed in tumor-bearing SCID/beige mice. Thus, NK cell cytotoxicity did not appear to be essential. Peritoneal macrophages from anti-CD40 + CpG-treated mice inhibited tumor cells in vitro in an hu14.18K322A antibody-dependent manner. These data highlight the importance of myeloid cells as potential effectors in immunotherapy regimens utilizing tumor-specific mAb and suggest that further studies are needed to investigate the therapeutic potential of activated myeloid cells and their interaction with NK cells.