Clonal expansion of T cells that are specific for autologous ovarian tumor among tumor-infiltrating T cells in humans

Gynecol Oncol. 1999 Jul;74(1):86-92. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1999.5430.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether oligoclonally expanding tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) were tumor-specific.

Study design: Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from an ovarian tumor-bearing patient were stimulated in vitro with an autologous cancer cell line (SMOV-2). Then genes coding for the third complementarity-determining region of the T cell receptor (TCR) beta chain were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and separated by single-strand conformation polymorphism. Accumulated TCR clonotypes in vitro and in vivo in TIL were compared.

Results: Clonal expansion of T cells was generated from PBL by stimulation with SMOV-2. A portion of the proliferated clonotypes was found to be identical to those accumulated in TIL in vivo.

Conclusion: This is the first demonstration that accumulating T cell clones in TIL recognize antigen(s) on an autologous tumor. Further characterization of such T cell clonotypes may lead to tumor antigen-specific immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Clone Cells
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured