Activation of the PD-1 Pathway Contributes to Immune Escape in EGFR-Driven Lung Tumors

The success in lung cancer therapy with Programmed Death (PD)-1 blockade suggests that immune escape mechanisms contribute to lung tumor pathogenesis. We identified a correlation between Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) pathway activation and a signature of immunosuppression manifested by upregulation of PD-1, PD-L1, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), and multiple tumor-promoting inflammatory cytokines. Our data suggest that oncogenic EGFR signaling remodels the tumor microenvironment to trigger immune escape, and mechanistically link treatment response to PD-1 inhibition.