Enhancing the specificity of T-cell cultures for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer

Immunotherapy. 2011 Jan;3(1):33-48. doi: 10.2217/imt.10.81.


Adoptive immunotherapy is a promising approach for the treatment of cancer; however, autoimmunity against normal tissue can be a serious complication of this therapy. We hypothesized that T-cell cultures responding maximally only when engaging two antigens would be more specific for tumor cells, and less active against normal cells, as long as the tumor expressed both antigens, while normal cells expressed only one of the antigens. A model system was developed consisting of cell lines expressing either folate binding protein or erbB-2, representing 'normal' tissue, and cells expressing both antigens representing tumor tissue. Human T-cell cultures were produced using two chimeric antigen receptor vectors ('dual transduced'), or using a single chimeric antigen receptor vector (monospecific). Dual-transduced T cells responded less against 'normal' cells compared with tumor cells. This relatively simple procedure produced T-cell cultures that were as active against a tumor as the monospecific cultures used traditionally, but had lower activity against model normal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Glycine N-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Glycine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Glycine N-Methyltransferase
  • Receptor, ErbB-2