Characterization of ex vivo expanded tumor infiltrating lymphocytes from patients with malignant melanoma for clinical application

J Skin Cancer. 2011;2011:574695. doi: 10.1155/2011/574695. Epub 2011 Jun 18.


Clinical trials of adoptive transfer of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) to patients with advanced malignant melanoma have shown remarkable results with objective clinical responses in 50% of the treated patients. In order to initiate a clinical trial in melanoma, we have established a method for expanding TILs to clinical relevant quantities in two steps with in 8 weeks. Further characterization of expanded TILs revealed an oligoclonal composition of T-cells with an effector memory like phenotype. When autologous tumor was available, TILs showed specific activity in all patients tested. TIL cultures contained specificity towards tumor cells as well as peptides derived from tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) during expansion procedures.