Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Therapeutic inhibition of the SRC-kinase HCK facilitates T cell tumor infiltration and improves response to immunotherapy


Although immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, many immunogenic tumors remain refractory to treatment. This can be largely attributed to an immunologically "cold" tumor microenvironment characterized by an accumulation of immunosuppressive myeloid cells and exclusion of activated T cells. Here, we demonstrate that genetic ablation or therapeutic inhibition of the myeloid-specific hematopoietic cell kinase (HCK) enables activity of antagonistic anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD1), anti-CTLA4, or agonistic anti-CD40 immunotherapies in otherwise refractory tumors and augments response in treatment-susceptible tumors. Mechanistically, HCK ablation reprograms tumor-associated macrophages and dendritic cells toward an inflammatory endotype and enhances CD8+ T cell recruitment and activation when combined with immunotherapy in mice. Meanwhile, therapeutic inhibition of HCK in humanized mice engrafted with patient-derived xenografts counteracts tumor immunosuppression, improves T cell recruitment, and impairs tumor growth. Collectively, our results suggest that therapeutic targeting of HCK activity enhances response to immunotherapy by simultaneously stimulating immune cell activation and inhibiting the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View