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J Immunol. 2013 Jul 1;191(1):135-44. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202692. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Autologous Tax-specific CTL therapy in a primary adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma cell-bearing NOD/Shi-scid, IL-2Rγnull mouse model.

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Department of Medical Oncology and Immunology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.


We expanded human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 Tax-specific CTL in vitro from PBMC of three individual adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) patients and assessed their therapeutic potential in an in vivo model using NOG mice bearing primary ATL cells from the respective three patients (ATL/NOG). In these mice established with cells from a chronic-type patient, treatment by i.p. injection of autologous Tax-CTL resulted in greater infiltration of CD8-positive T cells into each ATL lesion. This was associated with a significant decrease of ATL cell infiltration into blood, spleen, and liver. Tax-CTL treatment also significantly decreased human soluble IL-2R concentrations in the sera. In another group of ATL/NOG mice, Tax-CTL treatment led to a significant prolongation of survival time. These findings show that Tax-CTL can infiltrate the tumor site, recognize, and kill autologous ATL cells in mice in vivo. In ATL/NOG mice with cells from an acute-type patient, whose postchemotherapeutic remission continued for >18 mo, antitumor efficacy of adoptive Tax-CTL therapy was also observed. However, in ATL/NOG mice from a different acute-type patient, whose ATL relapsed after 6 mo of remission, no efficacy was observed. Thus, although the therapeutic effects were different for different ATL patients, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that adoptive therapy with Ag-specific CTL expanded from a cancer patient confers antitumor effects, leading to significant survival benefit for autologous primary cancer cell-bearing mice in vivo. The present study contributes to research on adoptive CTL therapy, which should be applicable to several types of cancer.

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