Send to

Choose Destination

A novel strategy in the elimination of disseminated melanoma cells: chimeric receptors endow T cells with tumor specificity.

Author information

Klinik I für Innere Medizin, Universität zu Köln, Germany.


The application of immunotherapy to the treatment of micrometastases of melanoma has attracted growing interest in recent years. This trend reflects, at least in part, the disappointing results of conventional chemotherapy, the identification of melanoma-associated antigens suitable to be used as targets for immunotherapy, and the significant progress in our understanding of molecular processes involved in the development of an immune response. Because of the general belief that T cell immunity plays a major part in the control of tumor growth, we have recently applied a novel strategy to target cytolytic T cells to melanoma cells. The strategy bypasses the requirement of presentation of melanoma-associated-antigen-derived peptides by the major histocompatibility complex to the T cell receptor complex by permanent grafting of T cells with a recombinant, chimeric T cell receptor. The extracellular moiety of the grafted receptor contains the antigen-binding domain, consisting of a single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) derived from a monoclonal antibody specific for the high-molecular-weight melanoma-associated antigen (HMW-MAA). The intracellular receptor moiety contains the cellular activation domain, consisting of the gamma-signaling chain derived from the Fc epsilon RI receptor. Cytotoxic T cells grafted with the chimeric anti-HMW-MAA scFv-gamma signaling receptor specifically lyse HMW-MAA-positive melanoma cells in a human leukocyte antigen class I-independent fashion. The chimeric T cell receptor strategy is designed to eliminate disseminated tumor cells by the power of cytolytic T cells that physiologically penetrate tissues and that are specifically activated by the grafted receptor after binding to antigen-positive melanoma cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center