Targeting of a broad spectrum of tumors by T-Lymphocytes engineered to express NCR-based chimeric receptors

Y Tal, S Ya'acobi, M Horovitz-Fried, B Rosental, A Porgador, CJ Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Natural killer (NK) cells are an important component of the
anti-tumor response. Tumor recognition by NK cells was found
to be partly mediated by recently-discovered molecules termed
natural cytotoxic receptors (NCRs). Adoptive cell transfer of
tumor-reactive T-lymphocytes has been demonstrated to mediate the regression of large solid tumors in melanoma patients. It
was shown that it was clinically feasible to modify genetically
human T-lymphocytes with anti-tumor receptors, thus leading to
cancer regression in melanoma patients. Nevertheless, the use of
such treatments for other malignancies such as breast, colon,
cervical, liver or lung cancer has barely been explored due to the
lack of receptors that would mediate efficient recognition of those
Herein, we propose to combine the NK anti-tumor recognition
potential with the genetic modification of T-cells, providing them
with an additional mean to recognize tumors in a non-MHC restricted way. To test this, we have generated several constructs
utilizing the extra-cellular domain of NCR-3 (Nkp30) or NCR-1
(Nkp46) fused to different signaling moieties. The different receptors were expressed in T-lymphocytes and their relative expression was analyzed by flow-cytometry. Following co-culture
with tumors of different histologies, our results suggest that
primary human T-lymphocytes expressing NCR-derived molecules are able to recognize specifically several tumor lines such as
lungs, cervical carcinoma, leukemia, hepatocarcinoma and melanoma as measured by IFN-gamma, IL2 and TNF-alpha secretion tests. In addition the NCR-chimeric receptors mediated
upregulation of the surface markers CD25, CD69, 4-1BB and
CD107a, as well as significant antitumor activity against multiple
tumor lines in cytotoxicity assays both in vitro and in ovo, using a
chorioallantoic-based model of xenograft tumors.
Overall, this research has meaningful implications for the
immunotherapeutic treatment of cancer using gene-modified
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationHUMAN GENE THERAPY
StatePublished - 2013


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