Myeloid-derived suppressor cells as an immune parameter in patients with concurrent sunitinib and stereotactic body radiotherapy

Hui Ming Chen, Ge Ma, Neil Gildener-Leapman, Samuel Eisenstein, Brian A. Coakley, Junko Ozao, John Mandeli, Celia Divino, Myron Schwartz, Max Sung, Robert Ferris, Johnny Kao, Lu Hai Wang, Ping Ying Pan, Eric C. Ko, Shu Hsia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Purpose: The clinical effects of sunitinib on human myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) subsets and correlation of the T-cell-mediated immune responses and clinical outcomes in patients with oligometastases treated by stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) have been evaluated. Experimental Design: The numbers of granulocytic and monocytic MDSC subsets, effector T cells, and regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood were evaluated pre- and post-sunitinib treatment and concurrent with SBRT. Correlations between MDSC, Treg, and T-cell responses and clinical outcomes were analyzed. Results: Patients with oligometastases of various cancer types had elevated granulocytic MDSC and certain subsets of monocytic MDSC population. Sunitinib treatment resulted in a significant reduction in monocytic MDSC, phosphorylated STAT3, and arginase levels in monocytic MDSC (CD33+CD14+CD16+), and an increase in T-cell proliferative activity in cancer patients. Interestingly, the effects of sunitinib on reducing the accumulation and immune-suppressive function of MDSC were significantly correlated with Treg reduction, in responders but not in nonresponding patients. SBRT synergized the therapeutic effects of sunitinib, especially as related to decreased numbers of monocytic MDSC, Treg, and B cells, and augmented Tbet expression in primary CD4 and CD8 T cells. These effects were not observed in patients receiving radiation therapy alone. Most interestingly, the responders, defined by sunitinib-mediated reduction in CD33+CD11b+ myeloid cell populations, tend to exhibit improved progression-free survival and cause-specific survival. Conclusions: Sunitinib treatment increased the efficacy of SBRT in patients with oligometastases by reversing MDSC and Treg-mediated immune suppression and may enhance cancer immune therapy to prevent tumor recurrence post-SBRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4073-4085
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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