Pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has one of the worst five-year survival rates of all solid tumors, and thus new treatment strategies are urgently needed. Here we report that targeting Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK), a key B cell and macrophage kinase, restores T cell-dependent anti-tumor immune responses, thereby inhibiting PDAC growth and improving responsiveness to standard-of-care chemotherapy (CTX). We report that PDAC tumor growth depends on crosstalk between B cells and FcRγ+ tumor-associated macrophages, resulting in TH2-type macrophage programming via BTK activation in a phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)γ-dependent manner. Treatment of PDAC-bearing mice with the BTK inhibitor PCI32765 (ibrutinib) or by PI3Kγ inhibition reprogrammed macrophages toward a TH1 phenotype that fostered CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, and suppressed PDAC growth, indicating that BTK signaling mediates PDAC immunosuppression. These data indicate that pharmacological inhibition of BTK in PDAC can reactivate adaptive immune responses, presenting a new therapeutic modality for this devastating tumor type.
- Received July 8, 2015.
- Revision received December 14, 2015.
- Accepted December 22, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.