STING Agonist, ADU-S100, Yields Potent Antitumor Activity and Therapeutically Favorable Immune Profile in an Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Model

Date 29 September 2019
Event ESMO 2019 Congress
Session Poster Display session 2
Topics Oesophageal Cancer
Presenter Ali Zaidi
Citation Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v253-v324. 10.1093/annonc/mdz247
Authors A.H. Zaidi1, A.N. Omstead1, N. Chowdhury1, J.E. Kosovec1, P. Zheng1, M.S. Salvitti1, A. Gorbunova1, L. Babar1, R.J. Kelly2, B.A. Jobe1
  • 1Esophageal And Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 15224 - Pittsburgh/US
  • 2Clinical Oncology, Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor Scott & White Health System, 75246 - Dallas/US

Abstract

Background

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a lethal disease with poor prognosis due to the limited treatment options. STING is a transmembrane protein that activates transcription of type I IFN genes, resulting in stimulation of APCs and enhanced CD8+ T cell infiltration. Recently, STING agonists have demonstrated not only potent efficacy against the primary tumor but also in the distant metastasis and recurrences. Interestingly, combining the STING agonist with radiotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors has demonstrated durable anticancer activity in solid tumors. Hence, the aim of the study was to specifically evaluate the efficacy and immunologic regulatory effects of STING agonist +/- radiation in an established EAC model.

Methods

Esophagojejunostomy was performed on rats to induce gastroduodenojejunal reflux leading to the development EAC. At 32 weeks post operatively, rats received either 50μg STING (ADU-S100) +/- 16Gy radiation or placebo (PBS) +/- 16Gy radiation. Drug or placebo control was delivered intratumorally twice via endoscopy, 3 weeks apart. Drug efficacy was evaluated by pre- and post- treatment MRI, serial biopsies, histology and RT-PCR. Additionally, IHC was performed using CD8 and PD-L1 antibodies.

Results

There was no difference in observed mortality among the groups (p = 0.3). Mean MRI tumor volume decreased by 19.7% and 18.6% in ADU-S100 and ADU-S100 + radiation animals and increased by 34.7% and 90.3% in placebo and placebo + radiation animals, respectively (P = 0.0006). Downstream gene expression, pre- to on- treatment, demonstrated upregulation of IFNγ (p = 0.0003) and TNFα (p = 0.02) in the treatment groups vs. placebo. The most remarkable change was observed in ADU-S100 group (5.5X IFNγ and 10.9X TNFα; p < 0.01). On- or post- treatment, radiation alone, ADU-S100 alone and ADU-S100 + radiation groups demonstrated significantly elevated densities of CD8+ T cells and PD-L1+ tumor and immune stromal cells compared to placebo (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

ADU-S100 exhibits potent antitumor efficacy and a promising immunomodulatory profile in a de novo EAC model providing the rationale for clinical strategies, likely in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.

Funding

Has not received any funding.

Disclosure

A.H. Zaidi: Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Array Biopharma; Research grant / Funding (institution): Eli Lilly & Co. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.