Research ArticleCANCER

Efficient blockade of locally reciprocated tumor-macrophage signaling using a TAM-avid nanotherapy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  22 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 21, eaaz8521
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8521


Interpreting how multicellular interactions in the tumor affect resistance pathways to BRAF and MEK1/2 MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) remains a challenge. To investigate this, we profiled global ligand-receptor interactions among tumor and stromal/immune cells from biopsies of MAPK-driven disease. MAPKi increased tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in some patients, which correlated with poor clinical response, and MAPKi coamplified bidirectional tumor-TAM signaling via receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) including AXL, MERTK, and their ligand GAS6. In xenograft tumors, intravital microscopy simultaneously monitored in situ single-cell activities of multiple kinases downstream of RTKs, revealing MAPKi increased TAMs and enhanced bypass signaling in TAM-proximal tumor cells. As a proof-of-principle strategy to block this signaling, we developed a multi-RTK kinase inhibitor nanoformulation that accumulated in TAMs and delayed disease progression. Thus, bypass signaling can reciprocally amplify across nearby cell types, offering new opportunities for therapeutic design.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances