Memory CD8+ T cells populate non-lymphoid tissues (NLTs) following pathogen infection, but little is known about the establishment of endogenous tumor-specific tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) during cancer immunotherapy. Using a transplantable mouse model of prostate carcinoma, here we report that tumor challenge leads to expansion of naïve neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells and formation of a small population of non-recirculating TRM in several NLTs. Primary tumor destruction by irreversible electroporation (IRE), followed by anti-CTLA-4 immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI), promotes robust expansion of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells in blood, tumor, and NLTs. Parabiosis studies confirm that TRM establishment following dual therapy is associated with tumor remission in a subset of cases and protection from subsequent tumor challenge. Addition of anti-PD-1 following dual IRE + anti-CTLA-4 treatment blocks tumor growth in non-responsive cases. This work indicates that focal tumor destruction using IRE combined with ICI is a potent in situ tumor vaccination strategy that generates protective tumor-specific TRM.

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