Gene profiling study of cancer-specific CD8+ T cells
Daniel E. Speiser and other CVC (Cancer Vaccine Collaborative) investigators perform the first gene profiling study of cancer-specific CD8+ T cells, and demonstrate that lymphocyte dysfunction in cancer tissue is due to multiple molecular alterations, similar as in “exhausted” T cells in patients with chronic infection. The data provide novel drug targets, and show that T cell exhaustion is reversible and limited to anatomical sites of disease.
Artificial antigen presenting cells can enhance adoptive therapy
Lee M. Nadler, Naoto Hirano, Marcus O. Butler and other CVC (Cancer Vaccine Collaborative) investigators report that a new technology using artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC) could successfully enhance adoptive therapy of tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. In a study involving nine patients with advanced melanoma, the aAPC technology could induce long-term increases in tumor-specific CD8+ T cells.
Hallmarks of cancer expanded
Douglas Hanahan and Robert Weinberg publish an update of their seminal review, Hallmarks of Cancer, adding to the list of cancer characteristics the ability of tumors to evade the immune system and emphasizing immune system-induced inflammation as an enabling characteristic in cancer development.
Peptide vaccine and interleukin-2 improve melanoma responses
Douglas J. Schwartzentruber and colleagues at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center demonstrate that patients with metastatic melanoma receiving high doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) plus a peptide vaccine had significant improvement in overall clinical response, providing further validation for immunological approach to cancer treatment.
Adoptive immunotherapy artificially enhances immune system cells and programs them to destroy the tumor area
Investigators at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research di Bethesda, Maryland, led by Steven A. Rosenberg demonstrate that adoptive immunotherapy with CD8+ T cells genetically engineering to recognize the NY-ESO-1 antigen could induce significant tumor regressions in patients with metastatic synovial sarcoma and melanoma.
Immunotherapy drug ipilimumab approved for advanced melanoma
The US Food and Drug Administration approves the anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody ipilimumab for the treatment of metastatic melanoma; it is the first immunotherapy drug shown to extend survival in metastatic melanoma.
Genetically modified T cells for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Using a novel technique to genetically modify T cells for adoptive transfer, Carl June, Michael Kalos, David Porter, Bruce Levine, and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine achieve clinical responses in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including two complete, durable (one year) clinical responses, accompanied by in vitro expansion and long-term functional persistence of gene-modified cells.
Antibody-drug conjugate approved for lymphoma
The US Food and Drug Administration approves a new chimeric mouse/human monoclonal antibody to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Nobel Prize for innate immunology for the role of dendritic cells in adaptive immunity
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann for their discoveries on the mechanisms underlying the activation of innate immunity, and to Ralph Steinman for the discovery of dendritic cells and their role in adaptive immunity.