(1) Background: Targeting inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules has highlighted the need to find approaches enabling the activation of immune responses against cancer. Therapeutic vaccination, which induces specific immune responses against tumor antigens (Ags), is an attractive option. (2) Methods: Utilizing a K-RasG12Dp53null murine lung cancer model we determined tumor burden, tumor-infiltrating T cell (TIL) cytolysis, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and CD4 and CD8 depletion to evaluate the efficacy of PD-1 blockade combined with CCL21-DC tumor lysate vaccine. (3) Results: Anti-PD-1 plus CCL21-DC tumor lysate vaccine administered to mice bearing established tumors (150 mm3
) increased expression of perforin and granzyme B in the tumor microenvironment (TME), increased tumor-infiltrating T cell (TIL) activity, and caused 80% tumor eradication. Mice with treatment-induced tumor eradication developed immunological memory, enabling tumor rejection upon challenge and cancer-recurrence-free survival. The depletion of CD4 or CD8 abrogated the antitumor activity of combined therapy. PD-1 blockade or CCL21-DC tumor lysate vaccine monotherapy reduced tumor burden without tumor eradication. (4) Conclusion: Immune checkpoint blockade promotes the activity of the therapeutic cancer vaccine. PD-1 blockade plus CCL21-DC tumor lysate vaccine therapy could benefit lung cancer patients.
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