Connection to Clinical Practice
Adoptive cell therapy for solid cancers
Adoptive cell therapy with TILs (tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) for melanoma patients have been developed several years ago at the NIH. Clinical trials have shown high and very encouraging response rates depending on the stage and selection of patients. We have established and expansion protocol for the treatment of melanoma patient refractory to standard immune therapy with checkpoint inhibitors (and BRAF/MEK inhibition in BRAF mutated patients).
Our first planned clinical trial that will start to recruit patients Q4/2019 and includes an adapted classical expansion protocol and the application of IL-2 after the adoptive TIL transfer. In addition, we will perform a PD-1 blockade after stopping IL-2 treatment to render the tumor microenvironment more permissive for tumor-attacking T cells.
Our program will enable us to expand this treatment option to other tumor types. In addition, we are working to improve the expansion protocols and the specific expansion of tumor-recognizing T cells. Finally, the program will also allow for a direct translation of new genitically-modified T cell therapies into early clincical trials.