A biologic scaffold-associated type 2 immune microenvironment inhibits tumor formation and synergizes with checkpoint immunotherapy

Matthew T. Wolf, Sudipto Ganguly, Tony L. Wang, Christopher W. Anderson, Kaitlyn Sadtler, Radhika Narain, Christopher Cherry, Alexis J. Parrillo, Benjamin V. Park, Guannan Wang, Fan Pan, Saraswati Sukumar, Drew M. Pardoll, Jennifer H. Elisseeff

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Biomaterials in regenerative medicine are designed to mimic and modulate tissue environments to promote repair. Biologic scaffolds (derived from decellularized tissue extracellular matrix) promote a wound-healing (proregenerative) immune phenotype and are used clinically to treat tissue loss, including in the context of tumor resection. It is unknown whether a biomaterial microenvironment that encourages tissue formation may also promote tumor development. We implanted a urinary bladder matrix (UBM) scaffold, which is used clinically for wound management, with syngeneic cancer cell lines in mice to study how wound-healing immune responses affect tumor formation and sensitivity to immune checkpoint blockade. The UBM scaffold created an immune microenvironment that inhibited B16-F10 melanoma tumor formation in a CD4+ T cell-dependent and macrophage-dependent manner. In-depth immune characterization revealed an activated type 2-like immune response that was distinct from the classical tumor microenvironment, including activated type 2 T helper T cells, a unique macrophage phenotype, eosinophil infiltration, angiogenic factors, and complement. Tumor growth inhibition by PD-1 and PD-L1 checkpoint blockade was potentiated in the UBM scaffold immune microenvironment. Engineering the local tumor microenvironment to promote a type 2 wound-healing immune signature may serve as a therapeutic target to improve immunotherapy efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberaat7973
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number477
StatePublished - Jan 30 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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