In situ vaccination is a promising strategy to convert the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment into an immunostimulatory one with limited systemic exposure and side effect. However, sustained clinical benefits require long-term and multidimensional immune activation including innate and adaptive immunity. Here, we develop a probiotic food-grade Lactococcus lactis-based in situ vaccination (FOLactis) expressing a fusion protein of Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand and co-stimulator OX40 ligand. Intratumoural delivery of FOLactis contributes to local retention and sustained release of therapeutics to thoroughly modulate key components of the antitumour immune response, such as activation of natural killer cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and conventional-type-1-dendritic cells in the tumors and tumor-draining lymph nodes. In addition, intratumoural administration of FOLactis induces a more robust tumor antigen-specific immune response and superior systemic antitumour efficacy in multiple poorly immune cell-infiltrated and anti-PD1-resistant tumors. Specific depletion of different immune cells reveals that CD8 T and natural killer cells are crucial to the in situ vaccine-elicited tumor regression. Our results confirm that FOLactis displays an enhanced antitumour immunity and successfully converts the ‘cold’ tumors to ‘hot’ tumors.
© 2022. The Author(s).