The extraordinary activity of high-dose cyclophosphamide against some high-grade lymphomas was described nearly 60 years ago. Here we address mechanisms that mediate cyclophosphamide activity in bona fide human double-hit lymphoma. We show that antibody resistance within the bone marrow (BM) is not present upon early engraftment but develops during lymphoma progression. This resistance required a high tumor:macrophage ratio, was recapitulated in spleen by partial macrophage depletion, and was overcome by multiple, high-dose alkylating agents. Cyclophosphamide induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in BM-resident lymphoma cells in vivo that resulted in ATF4-mediated paracrine secretion of VEGFA, massive macrophage infiltration, and clearance of alemtuzumab-opsonized cells. BM macrophages isolated after cyclophosphamide treatment had increased phagocytic capacity that was reversed by VEGFA blockade or SYK inhibition. Single-cell RNA sequencing of these macrophages identified a “super-phagocytic” subset that expressed CD36/FCGR4. Together, these findings define a novel mechanism through which high-dose alkylating agents promote macrophage-dependent lymphoma clearance. SIGNIFICANCE: mAbs are effective against only a small subset of cancers. Herein, we recapitulate compartment-specific antibody resistance and define an ER stress–dependent mechanism induced by high-dose alkylating agents that promotes phagocytosis of opsonized tumor cells. This approach induces synergistic effects with mAbs and merits testing across additional tumor types.
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