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Treatment Approach Expands Population of Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 12, 2014

Treatment Approach Expands Population of Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes

By Joe Elia

Your patients may be asking about an experimental treatment mentioned in the New York Times that harvests lymphocytes that have infiltrated tumors, clones them in the lab, and then reinfuses them in large numbers. The approach is described in a Science report.

The patient who is the subject of that report has a metastatic cholangiocarcinoma. Lung metastases were resected and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were extracted. Lymphocytes that showed activity against mutations found only in the tumor were harvested, cloned, and reinfused. The patient's tumors began "melting away," according to the study's senior author who is quoted in the Times account.

The usual caveats apply — the work is preliminary and the treatment complex. The authors conclude this way: "The ability to immunologically target unique mutations in cancers can potentially extend highly personalized immunotherapies to patients with epithelial cancers, which account for about 90% of cancer deaths in the United States."

Reader Comments (1)

Claude Krzisch Physician, Oncology, university hospital

the use of TIL was pioneered by Rosenberg to treat melanoma patients. However, he didn't have the means to sort the fit lymphocytes and clone them and growed them with interleukin-2 The promising results were not confirmed.

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