STING activation counters glioblastoma by vascular alteration and immune surveillance

Justin V. Joseph, Mathilde S. Blaavand, Huiqiang Cai, Fabienne Vernejoul, Rasmus W. Knopper, Thomas B. Lindhardt, Kristian A. Skipper, Esben Axelgaard, Line Reinert, Jacob G. Mikkelsen, Per Borghammer, Søren E. Degn, Eric Perouzel, Henrik Hager, Brian Hansen, Joanna M. Kalucka, Mikkel Vendelbo, Søren R. Paludan, Martin K. Thomsen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumor with a median survival of 15 months and has limited treatment options. Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors has shown minimal efficacy in combating GBM, and large clinical trials have failed. New immunotherapy approaches and a deeper understanding of immune surveillance of GBM are needed to advance treatment options for this devastating disease. In this study, we used two preclinical models of GBM: orthotopically delivering either GBM stem cells or employing CRISPR-mediated tumorigenesis by adeno-associated virus, to establish immunologically proficient and non-inflamed tumors, respectively. After tumor development, the innate immune system was activated through long-term STING activation by a pharmacological agonist, which reduced tumor progression and prolonged survival. Recruitment and activation of cytotoxic T-cells were detected in the tumors, and T-cell specificity towards the cancer cells was observed. Interestingly, prolonged STING activation altered the tumor vasculature, inducing hypoxia and activation of VEGFR, as measured by a kinome array and VEGF expression. Combination treatment with anti-PD1 did not provide a synergistic effect, indicating that STING activation alone is sufficient to activate immune surveillance and hinder tumor development through vascular disruption. These results guide future studies to refine innate immune activation as a treatment approach for GBM, in combination with anti-VEGF to impede tumor progression and induce an immunological response against the tumor.

TidsskriftCancer Letters
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2023


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