publication date: Jul. 13, 2018
Conversation with The Cancer Letter
NCI’s Rosenberg: Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes offer a strategy for treating recalcitrant solid cancers
Chief, Surgery Branch, senior investigator and head of the Tumor Immunology Section, NCI Center for Cancer Research
After achieving complete regression in several patients with different solid tumor types, Steven Rosenberg is eyeing the biggest prize imaginable—advancing the therapies he has championed for over four decades into the clinic as treatments for commonly occurring cancers.
“The overwhelming majority of the common epithelial cancers, like the gastrointestinal cancers, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, do not respond to any known immunotherapy, and there’s a desperate need for these new approaches,” Rosenberg said.
As he targets the immunogenic somatic mutations unique to patients’ cancers, Rosenberg is curating a library of T cell receptors against shared cancer mutations (e.g. KRAS, p53).
In a recent study of 99 patients across nine types of epithelial cancers, Rosenberg found that 81.8 percent of patients had neoantigen reactivity. Only two KRAS antigens were shared; the other 195 recognized neoantigens were unique.
“What has me excited is that since all cancers have mutations, this potentially is a blueprint for attacking any cancer, assuming we could find appropriate T cells that react against the mutations,” Rosenberg said. “This approach is very new, and we are working hard to improve it, but right now only 15 percent of patients with common epithelial cancers … Continue reading NCI’s Rosenberg: Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes offer a strategy for treating recalcitrant solid cancers
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