Re-purposing the pro-senescence properties of doxorubicin to introduce immunotherapy in breast cancer brain metastasis.


An increasing number of breast cancer patients develop brain metastases (BM). Standard-of-care treatments are largely inefficient, and breast cancer brain metastasis (BCBM) patients are considered untreatable. Immunotherapies are not successfully employed in BCBM, in part because breast cancer is a "cold" tumor and also because the brain tissue has a unique immune landscape. Here, we generate and characterize immunocompetent models of BCBM derived from PyMT and Neu mammary tumors to test how harnessing the pro-senescence properties of doxorubicin can be used to prime the specific immune BCBM microenvironment. We reveal that BCBM senescent cells, induced by doxorubicin, trigger the recruitment of PD1-expressing T cells to the brain. Importantly, we demonstrate that induction of senescence with doxorubicin improves the efficacy of immunotherapy with anti-PD1 in BCBM in a CD8 T cell-dependent manner, thereby providing an optimized strategy to introduce immune-based treatments in this lethal disease. In addition, our BCBM models can be used for pre-clinical testing of other therapeutic strategies in the future.

More about this publication

Cell reports. Medicine
  • Volume 3
  • Issue nr. 11
  • Pages 100821
  • Publication date 15-11-2022

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