Current cancer immunotherapies mainly aim to activate and expand tumor antigen specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in vitro or in vivo, but these methods are not so successuful because of the difficulty in preparing sufficient number of CTLs. We are trying to overcome this problem by utilizing the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Our strategy is based on the concept that i) when iPSCs are produced from antigen specific T cells, the rearranged configurations of T cell receptor (TCR) genes are inherited to the iPSCs (which we call T-iPSCs), and that ii) when T cells are regenerated from such T-iPSCs, all of them should come to express the same TCR as the original one. Therefore it will become possible to obtain de novo generated tumor specific CTLs almost unlimitedly, because it is possible to make a mass-culture of cells at the iPSC level. In line with this concept, we have succeeded in establishing T-iPSCs from CTLs specific for the melanoma antigen MART-1 derived from tumor infiltarating lymphocytes, and in regenerating MART-1 specific T cells from such T-iPSCs (Vizcardo et al, Cell Stem Cell, 2013).
The strategy mentioned above has been conducted in the category of autologous transplantation. Autologous transplantation setting, however, has some problems; i) high cost to establish T-iPSCs from each patients, ii) heterogeneneity of the quality as iPSCs, iii) difficulty in getting high affinity TCR. To solve these problems we are now planing to apply this method to the allogeneic transplantation setting. In allogeneic setting, we can select high quality T-iPSC clone and such a clone can be used to many other patients. It is preferable to produce T-iPSCs from a HLA haplotype homo donor, since CTLs generated from these T-iPSCs can be administerd to the patients carrying the same HLA haplotype on one allele. Thus by utilizing allogenic T-iPSCs the cost would be reduced and the quality of T-iPSCs can be ensured.
Now we are trying to establish T-iPSCs from CTLs specific for various cancer antigen from healthy donors. We succeded in establishing T-iPSCs from CTLs specific for EB virus related antigen LMP2 and cancer testis antigen WT1, both of which are restricted to HLA A2402, the commonest HLA-A in the Japanese. We improved in vitro culture condition and have succeded in regenerating CD8 single positive cells expressing CD8 alpha-beta heterodimers. These regenerated CTLs exhibited very high antigen specific killing activity comparable to the original CTLs. The CTLs derived from WT1 specific T-iPSCs were able to kill some leukemia cell lines which express endogenous WT1 protein. They can be expanded more than ten thousand fold by repeated TCR stimulation without reducing their killing activity. We are now examining in vivo killing activity of these CTLs using zenograft model.
This method could bring about a breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy.
Citation Format: Takuya Maeda, Seiji Nagano, Hiroshi Ichise, Kyoko Masuda, Toshio Kitawaki, Akifumi Kondo-Takaori, Hiroshi Kawamoto. Regeneration of tumor antigen specific CTLs utilizing iPSC technology. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; September 16-19, 2015; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(1 Suppl):Abstract nr B126.
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