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Woodland Hills, CA, United States

Sim G.C.,University of Houston | Radvanyi L.,Lion Biotechnologies
Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews | Year: 2014

The use of cytokines from the IL-2 family (also called the common γ chain cytokine family) such as interleukin (IL)-2, IL-7, IL-15, and IL-21 to activate the immune system of cancer patients is one of the most important areas of current cancer immunotherapy research. The infusion of IL-2 at low or high doses for multiple cycles in patients with metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma was the first successful immunotherapy for cancer proving that the immune system could completely eradicate tumor cells under certain conditions. The initial clinical success observed in some IL-2-treated patients encouraged further efforts focused on developing and improving the application of other IL-2 family cytokines (IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IL-15, and IL-21) that have unique biological effects playing important roles in the development, proliferation, and function of specific subsets of lymphocytes at different stages of differentiation with some overlapping effects with IL-2. IL-7, IL-15, and IL-21, as well as mutant forms or variants of IL-2, are now also being actively pursued in the clinic with some measured early successes. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the biology of the IL-2 cytokine family focusing on IL-2, IL-15 and IL-21. We discuss the similarities and differences between the signaling pathways mediated by these cytokines and their immunomodulatory effects on different subsets of immune cells. Current clinical application of IL-2, IL-15 and IL-21 either as single agents or in combination with other biological agents and the limitation and potential drawbacks of these cytokines for cancer immunotherapy are also described. Lastly, we discuss the future direction of research on these cytokines, such as the development of new cytokine mutants and variants for improving cytokine-based immunotherapy through differential binding to specific receptor subunits. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Chacon J.A.,University of Pennsylvania | Sarnaik A.A.,Donald am Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center | Pilon-Thomas S.,Donald am Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center | Radvanyi L.,H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute | Radvanyi L.,Lion Biotechnologies
OncoImmunology | Year: 2015

TIL from solid tumors can express activation/co-stimulatory molecules like 4–1BB/CD137, a sign of recent antigenic stimulation in the tumor microenvironment (TME). This activated state can be exploited ex vivo to enhance the expansion of tumor-reactive CD8+ TIL for adoptive cell therapy through direct addition of immunomodulators to tumor fragments in culture. © 2015, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Forget M.-A.,University of Houston | Haymaker C.,University of Houston | Dennison J.B.,University of Houston | Toth C.,University of Houston | And 8 more authors.
OncoImmunology | Year: 2016

Adoptive transfer of autologous ex vivo expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) is a highly successful cell therapy approach in the treatment of late-stage melanoma. Notwithstanding the success of this therapy, only very few centers worldwide can provide it. To make this therapy broadly available, one of the major obstacles to overcome is the complexity of culturing the TIL. Recently, major efforts have been deployed to resolve this issue. The use of the Gas-permeable flask (G-Rex) during the REP has been one application that has facilitated this process. Here we show that the use of this new device is able to rescue poor TIL growth and maintain clonal diversity while supporting an improved mitochondrial function. © 2015, Marie-Andrée Forget, Cara Haymaker, Jennifer B Dennison, Christopher Toth, Sourindra Maiti, Orenthial J Fulbright, Laurence J N Cooper, Laszlo G Radvanyi, and Chantale Bernatchez.

Forget M.-A.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Liu H.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Maiti S.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Huls H.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Immunotherapy | Year: 2014

Purpose: Adoptive cell therapy with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) is a therapy for metastatic melanoma with response rates of up to 50%. However, the generation of the TIL transfer product is challenging, requiring pooled allogeneic normal donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) used in vitro as "feeders" to support a rapid-expansion protocol. Here, we optimized a platform to propagate TIL to a clinical scale using K56 cells genetically modified to express costimulatory molecules such as CD86, CD137-ligand, and membrane-bound IL-15 to function as artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPC) as an alternative to using PBMC feeders.Experimental Design: We used aAPC or γ-irradiated PBMC feeders to propagate TIL and measured rates of expansion. The activation and differentiation state was evaluated by flow cytometry and differential gene expression analyses. Clonal diversity was assessed on the basis of the pattern of T-cell receptor usage. T-cell effector function was measured by evaluation of cytotoxic granule content and killing of target cells.Results: The aAPC propagated TIL at numbers equivalent to that found with PBMC feeders, whereas increasing the frequency of CD8+ T-cell expansion with a comparable effector-memory phenotype. mRNA profiling revealed an upregulation of genes in the Wnt and stem-cell pathways with the aAPC. The aAPC platform did not skew clonal diversity, and CD8+ T cells showed comparable antitumor function as those expanded with PBMC feeders.Conclusions: TIL can be rapidly expanded with aAPC to clinical scale generating T cells with similar phenotypic and effector profiles as with PBMC feeders. These data support the clinical application of aAPC to manufacture TIL for the treatment of melanoma. © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Tseng W.W.,University of Southern California | Malu S.,University of Houston | Zhang M.,University of Houston | Chen J.,University of Houston | And 10 more authors.
Sarcoma | Year: 2015

Treatment options are limited in well differentiated (WD) and dedifferentiated (DD) retroperitoneal liposarcoma. We sought to study the intratumoral adaptive immune response and explore the potential feasibility of immunotherapy in this disease. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were isolated from fresh surgical specimens and analyzed by flow cytometry for surface marker expression. Previously reported immune cell aggregates known as tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) were further characterized by immunohistochemistry. In all fresh tumors, TILs were found. The majority of TILs were CD4 T cells; however cytotoxic CD8 T cells were also seen (average: 20% of CD3 T cells). Among CD8 T cells, 65% expressed the immune checkpoint molecule PD-1. Intratumoral TLS may be sites of antigen presentation as DC-LAMP positive, mature dendritic cells were found juxtaposed next to CD4 T cells. Clinicopathologic correlation, however, demonstrated that presence of TLS was associated with worse recurrence-free survival in WD disease and worse overall survival in DD disease. Our data suggest that an adaptive immune response is present in WD/DD retroperitoneal liposarcoma but may be hindered by TLS, among other possible microenvironmental factors; further investigation is needed. Immunotherapy, including immune checkpoint blockade, should be evaluated as a treatment option in this disease. © 2015 William W. Tseng et al.

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