A universal strategy for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer through use of a novel T-cell antigen receptor

Katarzyna Urbanska, Evripidis Lanitis, Mathilde Poussin, Rachel C Lynn, Brian P Gavin, Sander Kelderman, Jason Yu, Nathalie Scholler, Daniel J Powell
Cancer Research 2012 April 1, 72 (7): 1844-52
Adoptive immunotherapies composed of T cells engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) offer an attractive strategy for treatment of human cancer. However, CARs have a fixed antigen specificity such that only one tumor-associated antigen (TAA) can be targeted, limiting the efficacy that can be achieved because of heterogeneous TAA expression. For this reason, a more generalized and effective application of CAR therapy would benefit from the capability to produce large panels of CARs against many known TAAs. In this study, we show a novel strategy to extend the recognition specificity potential of a bioengineered lymphocyte population, allowing flexible approaches to redirect T cells against various TAAs. Our strategy employs a biotin-binding immune receptor (BBIR) composed of an extracellular-modified avidin linked to an intracellular T-cell signaling domain. BBIR T cells recognized and bound exclusively to cancer cells pretargeted with specific biotinylated molecules. The versatility afforded by BBIRs permitted sequential or simultaneous targeting of a combination of distinct antigens. Together, our findings show that a platform of universal T-cell specificity can significantly extend conventional CAR approaches, permitting the tailored generation of T cells of unlimited antigen specificity for improving the effectiveness of adoptive T-cell immunotherapies for cancer.

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