Background: Adoptive transfer of ex vivo expanded autologous Vγ9Vδ2 T cells may be of therapeutic benefit for cancer because of their potent direct cytotoxicity towards tumour cells, synergistic cytotoxicity when combined with aminobisphosphonates and enhancement of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.
Methods: To determine the feasibility and clinical safety of therapy with ex vivo expanded, activated Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in combination with zoledronate, we enrolled 18 subjects with advanced solid tumours into a phase I clinical study. Administered indium(111)-oxine-labelled Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were tracked in a cohort of patients.
Results: Administered Vγ9Vδ2 T cells had an activated effector memory phenotype, expressed chemokine receptors predictive of homing to peripheral tissues and were cytotoxic in vitro against tumour targets. Adoptively transferred Vγ9Vδ2 T cells trafficked predominantly to the lungs, liver and spleen and, in some patients, to metastatic tumour sites outside these organs. No dose-limiting toxicity was observed, but most patients progressed on study therapy. However, three patients administered Vγ9Vδ2 T cells while continuing previously ineffective therapy had disease responses, suggesting an additive effect.
Conclusion: Therapy with aminobisphosphonate-activated Vγ9Vδ2 T cells is feasible and well tolerated, but therapeutic benefits appear only likely when used in combination with other therapies.