TriCurin, a synergistic formulation of curcumin, resveratrol, and epicatechin gallate, repolarizes tumor-associated macrophages and triggers an immune response to cause suppression of HPV+ tumors.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 Feb 16. Epub 2018 Feb 16. PMID: 29453519
Our earlier studies reported a unique potentiated combination (TriCurin) of curcumin (C) with two other polyphenols. The TriCurin-associated C displays an IC50 in the low micromolar range for cultured HPV+ TC-1 cells. In contrast, because of rapid degradation in vivo, the TriCurin-associated C reaches only low nano-molar concentrations in the plasma, which are sub-lethal to tumor cells. Yet, injected TriCurin causes a dramatic suppression of tumors in TC-1 cell-implanted mice (TC-1 mice) and xenografts of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) cells in nude/nude mice. Here, we use the TC-1 mice to test our hypothesis that a major part of the anti-tumor activity of TriCurin is evoked by innate and adaptive immune responses. TriCurin injection repolarized arginase1(ARG1), IL10, inducible nitric oxide synthase(iNOS), IL12M2-type tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) into ARG1, IL10, iNOS, and IL12M1-type TAM in HPV+ tumors. The M1 TAM displayed sharply suppressed STAT3 and induced STAT1 and NF-kB(p65). STAT1 and NF-kB(p65) function synergistically to induce iNOS and IL12 transcription. Neutralizing IL12 signaling with an IL12 antibody abrogated TriCurin-induced intra-tumor entry of activated natural killer (NK) cells and Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), thereby confirming that IL12 triggers recruitment of NK cells and CTL. These activated NK cells and CTL join the M1 TAM to elicit apoptosis of the E6+ tumor cells. Corroboratively, neutralizing IL12 signaling partially reversed this TriCurin-mediated apoptosis. Thus, injected TriCurin elicits an M2→M1 switch in TAM, accompanied by IL12-dependent intra-tumor recruitment of NK cells and CTL and elimination of cancer cells.