T-cell receptor (TCR) -engineered T-cell therapy is a promising cancer treatment approach. Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) is overexpressed in the majority of tumors and a potential target for adoptive cell therapy. We isolated a novel hTERT-specific TCR sequence, named Radium-4, from a clinically responding pancreatic cancer patient vaccinated with a long hTERT peptide. Radium-4 TCR redirected primary CD4+ and CD8+ T cells demonstrated in vitro efficacy producing inflammatory cytokines and killing hTERT+ melanoma cells in both 2D and 3D settings, as well as malignant, patient-derived ascites cells. Importantly, T cells expressing Radium-4 TCR displayed no toxicity against bone marrow stem cells or mature hematopoietic cells. Notably, Radium-4 TCR+ T cells also significantly reduced tumor growth and improved survival in a xenograft mouse model. Since hTERT is a universal cancer antigen and the very frequently expressed HLA class II molecules presenting the hTERT peptide to this TCR provide a very high (>75%) population coverage, this TCR represents an attractive candidate for immunotherapy of solid tumors
Targeting telomerase with an HLA class II-restricted TCR for cancer immunotherapy
Mol Ther (in press)
T cell receptor therapy against melanoma-Immunotherapy for the future?
Scand J Immunol, 92 (4), e12927
A Small-Molecule Tankyrase Inhibitor Reduces Glioma Stem Cell Proliferation and Sphere Formation
Cancers (Basel), 12 (6)