Scientists genetically modify T cells derived from pluripotent stem cells to attack lymphatic tumors for unlimited number of tumor killing cells

scientists have combined the ability to reprogram stem cells into T cells with a recently developed strategy for genetically modifying patients’ own T cells to seek and destroy tumors. The result is the capacity to mass-produce in the laboratory an unlimited quantity of cancer-fighting cells that resemble natural T cells, a type of white blood cell that fights cancer and viruses.

This could provide an unlimited number of tumor killing cells.

Nature Biotechnology – Generation of tumor-targeted human T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells for cancer therapy

Progress in adoptive T-cell therapy for cancer and infectious diseases is hampered by the lack of readily available, antigen-specific, human T lymphocytes. Pluripotent stem cells could provide an unlimited source of T lymphocytes, but the therapeutic potential of human pluripotent stem cell–derived lymphoid cells generated to date remains uncertain. Here we combine induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)7 and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)8 technologies to generate human T cells targeted to CD19, an antigen expressed by malignant B cells, in tissue culture. These iPSC-derived, CAR-expressing T cells display a phenotype resembling that of innate γδ T cells. Similar to CAR-transduced, peripheral blood γδ T cells, the iPSC–derived T cells potently inhibit tumor growth in a xenograft model. This approach of generating therapeutic human T cells ‘in the dish’ may be useful for cancer immunotherapy and other medical applications.

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