Frampton D, Schwenzer H, Marino G, Butcher LM, Pollara G, Kriston-Vizi J, Venturini C, Austin R, de Castro KF, Ketteler R, Chain B, Goldstein RA, Weiss RA, Beck S, Fassati A
The canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) is a clonally transmissible cancer that regresses spontaneously or after treatment with vincristine, but we know little about the regression mechanisms. We performed global transcriptional, methylation, and functional pathway analyses on serial biopsies of vincristine-treated CTVTs and found that regression occurs in sequential steps; activation of the innate immune system and host epithelial tissue remodeling followed by immune infiltration of the tumor, arrest in the cell cycle, and repair of tissue damage. We identified CCL5 as a possible driver of CTVT regression. Changes in gene expression are associated with methylation changes at specific intragenic sites. Our results underscore the critical role of host innate immunity in triggering cancer regression.