Immunotherapy with intratumoral injection of adenoviral vectors expressing CD40L has yielded positive results in experimental and clinical bladder cancer. We therefore hypothesized that anti-CD40 antibody would be effective in this setting. Agonistic CD40 antibodies were developed as vaccine adjuvants but have later been used as treatment of advanced solid tumors and hematologic cancers. Systemic anti-CD40 therapy has been associated with immune-related adverse events, such as cytokine release syndrome and liver toxicity, and local delivery is an attractive approach that could reduce toxicity. Herein, we compared local and systemic anti-CD40 antibody delivery to evaluate efficacy, toxicity, and biodistribution in the experimental MB49 bladder cancer model. Antitumor effects were confirmed in the B16 model. In terms of antitumor efficacy, local anti-CD40 antibody stimulation was superior to systemic therapy at an equivalent dose and CD8 T cells were crucial for tumor growth inhibition. Both administration routes were dependent on host CD40 expression for therapeutic efficacy. In vivo biodistribution studies revealed CD40-specific antibody accumulation in the tumor-draining lymph nodes and the spleen, most likely reflecting organs with frequent target antigen-expressing immune cells. Systemic administration led to higher antibody concentrations in the liver and blood compared with local delivery, and was associated with elevated levels of serum haptoglobin. Despite the lack of a slow-release system, local anti-CD40 therapy was dependent on tumor antigen at the injection site for clearance of distant tumors. To summarize, local low-dose administration of anti-CD40 antibody mediates antitumor effects in murine models with reduced toxicity and may represent an attractive treatment alternative in the clinic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research