Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy for Melanoma: Rationale and Issues for Further Clinical Development
Cancer immunotherapy has become an important area for the future development of cancer therapy; this includes T-cell-based therapies that involve adoptive transfer of autologous T cells derived from the tumors or peripheral blood of cancer patients, vaccines, oncolytic virus therapy, and immunomodulatory antibodies and ligands. Here, we summarize the current approaches and clinical data in the field of adoptive T-cell transfer therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) for metastatic melanoma. We also discuss current knowledge on the mechanism of transferred TILs in mediating tumor regression and the growing need for and recent advances in the identification of predictive biomarkers to better select patients for TIL therapy. The current technical limitations of current TIL expansion methods for out-scaling are discussed as well as how these are being addressed in order to further “industrialize” this form of cell therapy. Lastly, how TIL adoptive transfer can be incorporated into the current melanoma treatment continuum, especially as combination therapy with other immunomodulators and targeted drugs, is discussed.