Targeting dual signaling pathways in concert with immune checkpoints for the treatment of pancreatic cancer

Erik Knudsen, Vishnu Kumarasamy, Sejin Chung, Paris Vail, Stephanie Tzetzo, Amanda Ruiz, Mukund Seshadri, Scott I. Abrams, Jianmin Wang, Agnieszka K. Witkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pancreatic cancer harbors a poor prognosis due to the lack of effective systemic therapies. Here we interrogated means to target key effector pathways down-stream from KRAS. We found that combination treatment with MEK and CDK4/6 inhibitors was effective across a broad range of PDX models in delaying tumor progression. These effects were associated with stable cell cycle arrest, as well as the induction of multiple genes associated with interferon response and antigen presentation in an RB-dependent fashion. Using single cell sequencing and complementary approaches, we found that the combination of CDK4/6 and MEK inhibition had a significant impact on increasing T-cell infiltration and altering myeloid populations, while potently cooperating with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Together, these data indicate that there are canonical and non-canonical features of CDK4/6 and MEK inhibition that impact on the tumor and host that can contribute to durable control for tumors in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 5 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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