Targeting multiple tumors using T-cells engineered to express a natural cytotoxicity receptor 2-based chimeric receptor

Vasyl Eisenberg, Katerina Shamalov, Shimrit Meir, Shiran Hoogi, Rhitajit Sarkar, Shirel Pinker, Gal Markel, Angel Porgador, Cyrille J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent developments in cancer treatment are demonstrating the increasing and powerful potential of immunotherapeutic strategies. In this regard, the adoptive transfer of tumor-specific T-lymphocytes approaches can lead to tumor regression in cancer patients. More recently, the use of T-cells genetically engineered to express cancer-specific receptors such as the anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) continues to show promise for the treatment of hematological malignancies. Still, there is a crucial need to develop efficient CAR-T cell approaches for the treatment of solid tumors. It has been shown that other lymphocytes such as natural killer (NK) cells can demonstrate potent antitumor function-nonetheless, their use in immunotherapy is rather limited due to difficulties in expanding these cells to therapeutically relevant numbers and to suppression by endogenous inhibitory mechanisms. Cancer recognition by NK cells is partly mediated by molecules termed natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs). In the present study, we hypothesize that it is possible to endow T-cells with an NK recognition pattern, providing them with a mean to recognize tumor cells, in a non-MHC restricted way. To test this, we genetically modified human T-cells with different chimeric receptors based on the human NCR2 molecule and then assessed their antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo. Our results show that expression in primary lymphocytes of an NCR2-derived CAR, termed s4428z, confers T-cells with the ability to specifically recognize heterogeneous tumors and to mediate tumor cytotoxicity in a mouse model. This study demonstrates the benefit of combining tumor recognition capability of NK cells with T cell effectiveness to improve cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1212
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 29 Sep 2017


  • Adoptive T-cell transfer
  • Chimeric receptors
  • NCR2
  • Natural killer cells
  • T-cell immunotherapy
  • T-cells engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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