T Cells Engineered against a Native Antigen Can Surmount Immunologic and Physical Barriers to Treat Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer cell, Volume 28, Issue 5, p.638-52 (2015)


Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Flow Cytometry Core Facility


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs) erect physical barriers to chemotherapy and induce multiple mechanisms of immune suppression, creating a sanctuary for unimpeded growth. We tested the ability of T cells engineered to express an affinity-enhanced T cell receptor (TCR) against a native antigen to overcome these barriers in a genetically engineered model of autochthonous PDA. Engineered T cells preferentially accumulate in PDA and induce tumor cell death and stromal remodeling. However, tumor-infiltrating T cells become progressively dysfunctional, a limitation successfully overcome by serial T cell infusions that resulted in a near-doubling of survival without overt toxicities. Similarly engineered human T cells lyse PDA cells in vitro, further supporting clinical advancement of this TCR-based strategy for the treatment of PDA.