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J Clin Invest. 1997 Dec 1;100(11):2757-65.

CD40-activated human B cells: an alternative source of highly efficient antigen presenting cells to generate autologous antigen-specific T cells for adoptive immunotherapy.

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Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Multiple clinical trials have shown the efficacy of adoptively transferred allogeneic antigen-specific T cells for the treatment of viral infections and relapsed hematologic malignancies. In contrast, the therapeutic potential of autologous antigen-specific T cells has yet to be established since it has been technically difficult to generate sufficient numbers of these T cells, ex vivo. A major obstacle to the success of this objective derives from our inability to simply and rapidly isolate and/or expand large numbers of highly efficient antigen presenting cells (APCs) for repetitive stimulations of antigen-specific T cells in vitro. We show that autologous CD40-activated B cells represent a readily available source of highly efficient APC that appear to have several important advantages over other APCs for ex vivo T cell expansion including: (a) methodological simplicity necessary to generate continuously large numbers of APCs from just 50 cm3 of peripheral blood without loss of APC function; (b) capacity to induce high peak T cell proliferation and interferon-gamma production without IL-10 production; (c) ease in cryopreservation; and (d) markedly reduced cost. We, therefore, contend that CD40-activated B cells are an alternative source of highly efficient APCs with which to generate antigen-specific T cells ex vivo for autologous adoptive immunotherapy.

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