Adoptive transfer of immature myeloid cells lacking NF-κB p50 (p50-IMC) impedes the growth of MHC-matched high-risk neuroblastoma

Cheng Cui, Theresa Barberi, Rahul Suresh, Alan D. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-risk neuroblastomas harbor abundant myeloid cells that suppress antitumor immunity and support tumor growth. Macrophages lacking the inhibitory NF-κB p50 subunit adopt a pro-inflammatory phenotype. We now report that murine 9464D neuroblastoma cells, which express high levels of exogenous MYCN, grow slower in syngeneic p50(f/f);Lys-Cre mice that lack p50 in macrophages and neutrophils, compared with p50(f/f) littermates. Tumors in p50(f/f);Lys-Cre mice possess increased numbers of total and activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and depletion of both of these T-cell populations accelerates tumor growth. Anti-PD-1 T-cell checkpoint blockade, or DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibition, further slows tumor growth. In addition, adoptive transfer of immature myeloid cells lacking NF-κB p50 (p50-IMC), generated either from the bone marrow of p50−/− mice or via nucleofection of a p50 sgRNA:Cas9 complex into wild-type hematopoietic progenitors, also slowed growth of MHC-matched 9464D tumors but not of MHC-mismatched Neuro2A tumors. These findings further validate the utility of targeting myeloid NF-κB p50 as a strategy for cancer therapy and demonstrate activity of p50-IMC generated by gene editing of syngeneic marrow cells, a cell product relevant to clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1783-1796
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • NF-κB p50
  • adoptive transfer
  • immunotherapy
  • macrophages
  • myeloid cells
  • neuroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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