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J Immunol. 2008 May 1;180(9):6044-53.

Protective immunosurveillance and therapeutic antitumor activity of gammadelta T cells demonstrated in a mouse model of prostate cancer.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pathology, The Univeresity of Alabama at Birmingham, 1900 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


In contrast to Ag-specific alphabeta T cells, gammadelta T cells can kill malignantly transformed cells in a manner that does not require the recognition of tumor-specific Ags. Although such observations have contributed to the emerging view that gammadelta T cells provide protective innate immunosurveillance against certain malignancies, particularly those of epithelial origin, they also provide a rationale for developing novel clinical approaches to exploit the innate antitumor properties of gammadelta T cells for the treatment of cancer. Using TRAMP, a transgenic mouse model of prostate cancer, proof-of-concept studies were performed to first establish that gammadelta T cells can indeed provide protective immunosurveillance against spontaneously arising mouse prostate cancer. TRAMP mice, which predictably develop prostate adenocarcinoma, were backcrossed with gammadelta T cell-deficient mice (TCRdelta(-/-) mice) yielding TRAMP x TCRdelta(-/-) mice, a proportion of which developed more extensive disease compared with control TRAMP mice. By extension, these findings were then used as a rationale for developing an adoptive immunotherapy model for treating prostate cancer. Using TRAMP-C2 cells derived from TRAMP mice (C57BL/6 genetic background), disease was first established in otherwise healthy wild-type C57BL/6 mice. In models of localized and disseminated disease, tumor-bearing mice treated i.v. with supraphysiological numbers of syngeneic gammadelta T cells (C57BL/6-derived) developed measurably less disease compared with untreated mice. Disease-bearing mice treated i.v. with gammadelta T cells also displayed superior survival compared with untreated mice. These findings provide a biological rationale for clinical trials designed to adoptively transfer ex vivo expanded autologous gammadelta T cells for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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