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Cancer Res. 2007 Dec 1;67(23):11428-37.

Sustained antigen-specific antitumor recall response mediated by gene-modified CD4+ T helper-1 and CD8+ T cells.

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Cancer Immunology Program, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Given that specific subsets of T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) CD4(+) T cells have been shown to play key roles in tumor rejection models, we wanted to assess the contribution of either Th1 or Th2 CD4(+) cell subtypes for redirected T-cell immunotherapy. In this study, we have developed a novel method involving retroviral transduction and in vitro T-cell polarization to generate gene-engineered mouse CD4(+) Th1 and Th2 cells or T helper intermediate (Thi) cells expressing an anti-erbB2-CD28-zeta chimeric receptor. Gene-modified Th1 and Th2 polarized CD4(+) cells were characterized by the preferential secretion of IFN-gamma and interleukin-4, respectively, whereas Thi cells secreted both cytokines following receptor ligation. In adoptive transfer studies using an erbB2(+) lung metastasis model, complete survival of mice was observed when transduced Th1, Th2, or Thi CD4(+) cells were transferred in combination with an equivalent number of transduced CD8(+) T cells. Tumor rejection was consistently associated with transduced T cells at the tumor site and interleukin-2 secretion. However, the surviving mice treated with gene-modified Th1 CD4(+) cells were significantly more resistant to a subsequent challenge with a different erbB2(+) tumor (4T1.2) implanted s.c. This result correlated with both increased expansion of Th1 CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the blood and a greater number of these cells localizing to the tumor site following rechallenge. These data support the use of gene-modified CD4(+) Th1 and CD8(+) T cells for mediating a sustained antitumor response.

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