Engineering immunity against cancer by the adoptive transfer of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) modified to express antigen-specific T-cell receptors (TCR) or chimeric antigen receptors generates a continual supply of effector T cells, potentially providing superior anticancer efficacy compared with the infusion of terminally differentiated T cells. Here, we demonstrate the in vivo generation of functional effector T cells from CD34-enriched human peripheral blood stem cells modified with a lentiviral vector designed for clinical use encoding a TCR recognizing the cancer/testes antigen NY-ESO-1, coexpressing the PET/suicide gene sr39TK. Ex vivo analysis of T cells showed antigen- and HLA-restricted effector function against melanoma. Robust engraftment of gene-modified human cells was demonstrated with PET reporter imaging in hematopoietic niches such as femurs, humeri, vertebrae, and the thymus. Safety was demonstrated by the in vivo ablation of PET signal, NY-ESO-1-TCR-bearing cells, and integrated lentiviral vector genomes upon treatment with ganciclovir, but not with vehicle control. Our study provides support for the efficacy and safety of gene-modified HSCs as a therapeutic modality for engineered cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Res; 74(18); 5173-83. ©2014 AACR.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.