Manipulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote anti-tumor immune infiltration into the TME to sensitize ovarian cancer to ICB therapy

Academic Article


  • Objective: Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy shows limited efficacy in ovarian cancers due to the “cold” immune phenotype surrounding these tumors. Previous studies have shown that in ovarian cancer Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation contributes to this immune phenotype. Here, we evaluated the anti-tumor and immune-enhancing properties of the Wnt inhibitor, CGX-1321, used alone or in combination with either DKN-01 or anti-PD-1 therapy, in pre-clinical ovarian cancer models. Methods: The parental ID8 murine ovarian cancer model harboring a knock-out of p53 (ID8p53−/−) and MISIIR-Tag spontaneous ovarian cancer models were used to test the effects of CGX-1321 alone or in combination therapies on tumor burden and immune cell landscape in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Flow cytometry and NanoString analyses were used to characterize the changes in tumor-intrinsic signaling and immune-related profiles in the TME of ovarian cancer in response to treatments. Results: CGX-1321 significantly reduced tumor burden and constrained tumor progression in the ID8p53−/− and MISIIR-Tag models. Furthermore, CGX-1321 increased infiltrating CD8+ T cells in the TME. Combining CGX-1321 with either DKN-01 or anti-PD-1 therapy also decreased tumor burden and increased CD8+ T cell infiltration in the omentum TME but did not do so to a greater extent that CGX-1321 monotherapy. Conclusions: CGX-1321 significantly reduced tumor burden and enhanced CD8+ T cell levels in ovarian cancer, nevertheless the addition of DKN-01 or anti-PD-1 therapies did not enhance these effects of CGX-1321. Further investigation is needed to determine if CGX-1321 + DKN-01 combination treatment sensitizes pre-clinical ovarian cancer to ICB therapy.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wall JA; Meza-Perez S; Scalise CB; Katre A; Londoño AI; Turbitt WJ; Randall T; Norian LA; Arend RC
  • Start Page

  • 285
  • End Page

  • 294
  • Volume

  • 160
  • Issue

  • 1