A Simple and Robust Single-Step Method for CAR-Vδ1 γδT Cell Expansion and Transduction for Cancer Immunotherapy

Front Immunol. 2022 May 31:13:863155. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.863155. eCollection 2022.


The γδT cell subset of peripheral lymphocytes exhibits potent cancer antigen recognition independent of classical peptide MHC complexes, making it an attractive candidate for allogeneic cancer adoptive immunotherapy. The Vδ1-T cell receptor (TCR)-expressing subset of peripheral γδT cells has remained enigmatic compared to its more prevalent Vγ9Vδ2-TCR and αβ-TCR-expressing counterparts. It took until 2021 before a first patient was dosed with an allogeneic adoptive Vδ1 cell product despite pre-clinical promise for oncology indications stretching back to the 1980s. A contributing factor to the paucity of clinical progress with Vδ1 cells is the lack of robust, consistent and GMP-compatible expansion protocols. Herein we describe a reproducible one-step, clinically translatable protocol for Vδ1-γδT cell expansion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), that is further compatible with high-efficiency gene engineering for immunotherapy purposes. Briefly, αβTCR- and CD56-depleted PBMC stimulation with known-in-the-art T cell stimulators, anti-CD3 mAb (clone: OKT-3) and IL-15, leads to robust Vδ1 cell expansion of high purity and innate-like anti-tumor efficacy. These Vδ1 cells can be virally transduced to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) using standard techniques, and the CAR-Vδ1 exhibit antigen-specific persistence, cytotoxicity and produce IFN-γ. Practicable, GMP-compatible engineered Vδ1 cell expansion methods will be crucial to the wide-spread clinical testing of these cells for oncology indications.

Keywords: CAR-Vδ1 cells; CAR-gamma delta T cells; V delta-1 (Vδ1) cells; cancer immunotherapy; gamma delta (gammadelta) T cells; γδ T cells; γδT cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / genetics


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen