Oncolytic adenovirus ORCA-010 increases the type 1 T cell stimulatory capacity of melanoma-conditioned dendritic cells

M. López González, R. van de Ven, H. de Haan, J. van Eck van der Sluijs, W. Dong, V. W. van Beusechem, T. D. de Gruijl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Immune checkpoint blockade has resulted in durable responses in patients with metastatic melanoma, but only in a fraction of treated patients. For immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) to be effective, sufficient infiltration with tumor-reactive T cells is essential. Oncolytic viruses (OV) selectively replicate in and lyse tumor cells and so induce an immunogenic form of cell death, providing at once a source of tumor-associated (neo)antigens and of danger signals that together induce effective T cell immunity and tumor infiltration. Melanoma-associated suppression of dendritic cell (DC) differentiation effectively hampers OV- or immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-induced anti-tumor immunity, due to a consequent inability to prime and attract anti-tumor effector T cells. Here, we set out to study the effect of ORCA-010, a clinical stage oncolytic adenovirus, on DC differentiation and functionality in the context of human melanoma. In melanoma and monocyte co-cultures, employing a panel of five melanoma cell lines with varying origins and oncogenic mutation status, we observed clear suppression of DC development with apparent skewing of monocyte differentiation to a more M2-macrophage-like state. We established the ability of ORCA-010 to productively infect and lyse the melanoma cells. Moreover, although ORCA-010 was unable to restore DC differentiation, it induced activation and an increased co-stimulatory capacity of monocyte-derived antigen-presenting cells. Their subsequent ability to prime effector T cells with a type I cytokine profile was significantly increased in an allogeneic mixed leukocyte reaction. Our findings suggest that ORCA-010 is a valuable immunotherapeutic agent for melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

Cite this