Adoptive Immunotherapy Used to Treat Epithelial Cancer

TCR-based gene therapy directed against NY-ESO-1 induced response in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A T-cell receptor (TCR)-based gene therapy directed against NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigen may represent a new therapeutic approach for patients suffering from melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues conducted a clinical trial of six patients with metastatic synovial cell sarcoma and 11 patients with metastatic melanoma that did not respond to standard treatments. Patients with NY-ESO-1-positive tumors were given treatment with autologous TCR-transduced T cells plus interleukin-2 after preparative chemotherapy. Clinical responses were assessed with Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.

The researchers found that objective clinical responses were seen in four of the six (67 percent) patients with synovial cell sarcoma and in five of the 11 (45 percent) patients with melanoma bearing tumors that expressed NY-ESO-1. Two of the melanoma patients showed a complete regression that lasted after one year. One of the patients with synovial cell sarcoma had a partial response persisting for 18 months.

"Overall, these findings indicate that treatments using TCRs directed against NY-ESO-1 are effective at mediating tumor regression in patients with metastatic melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma, and suggest that TCRs directed against NY-ESO-1 and additional cancer/testis antigens should be explored for the treatment of patients with common epithelial cancers," the authors write.

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