Clinical immunotherapy approaches are lacking efficacy in the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM). In this study, we sought to reverse local and systemic GBM-induced immunosuppression using the Helicobacter pylori neutrophil-activating protein (NAP), a potent TLR2 agonist, as an immunostimulatory transgene expressed in an oncolytic measles virus (MV) platform, retargeted to allow viral entry through the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). While single-agent murine anti-PD1 treatment or repeat in situ immunization with MV-s-NAP-uPA provided modest survival benefit in MV-resistant syngeneic GBM models, the combination treatment led to synergy with a cure rate of 80% in mice bearing intracranial GL261 tumors and 72% in mice with CT-2A tumors. Combination NAP-immunovirotherapy induced massive influx of lymphoid cells in mouse brain, with CD8+ T cell predominance; therapeutic efficacy was CD8+ T cell dependent. Inhibition of the IFN response pathway using the JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib decreased PD-L1 expression on myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the brain and further potentiated the therapeutic effect of MV-s-NAP-uPA and anti-PD1. Our findings support the notion that MV strains armed with bacterial immunostimulatory antigens represent an effective strategy to overcome the limited efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor-based therapies in GBM, creating a promising translational strategy for this lethal brain tumor.
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