Adoptive transfer with high-affinity TCR to treat human solid tumors: how to improve the feasibility?
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- Jotereau, F., Gervois, N. & Labarrière, N. Targ Oncol (2012) 7: 3. doi:10.1007/s11523-012-0207-z
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The adoptive transfer of tumor antigen-specific T cells recently achieved clinical efficacy for a fraction of melanoma patients refractory to other therapies. Unfortunately, the application of this strategy to the remaining melanoma and most other cancer patients is hampered by the difficulty to generate high-affinity tumor-reactive T cells. Two strategies are currently developed to extend the feasibility of this therapeutic approach: clinical grade tool production for MHC-peptide multimer-driven sorting of antigen-specific T cells from the endogenous peripheral T cell repertoire and de novo engineering of the missing repertoire by genetic transfer of cloned specific T cell receptor (TCR) into T cells. The expected multiplication of adoptive transfer treatments, by these strategies, and their careful evaluation should enable the cure of a number of otherwise compromised cancer patients and to gain insight into the characteristics of transferred T cells best fitted to eradicate tumor cells, in terms of antigen specificities, phenotype, and functions. In particular, identification of tumor-rejection antigens by this approach would improve the design and efficacy of all immunotherapeutic approaches.