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New universal platform for cancer immunotherapy developed by Penn-led team
Date:3/5/2012

tained in the universal immune receptor. Since nearly any molecule can be biotin labeled, the number of antigens that can be targeted by T cells carrying the biotin-binding immune receptor is nearly infinite. The versatility afforded by this biotin-binding receptor permitted the targeting of a combination of distinct antigens all at once, and even one after another, notes Powell.

The findings demonstrate that a universal T cell can significantly extend conventional CAR approaches, allowing the team to generate T cells of unlimited antigen specificity. This process is geared to make T cell therapy more available to patients and to improve the effectiveness of T-cell immunotherapies for cancer.

First author post-doctoral fellow Katarzyna Urbanska, Ph.D. continues optimization of the universal receptor approach by looking for different ways to improve the interaction of T cells with tumor cells, and how to better direct the T cells and the biotin-labeled molecules to tumor cells in the body.

In the future, Powell and colleagues predict a highly personalized platform for cancer therapy that begins when patient tumors are analyzed for their expression of specific antigens at the Department Pathology and Laboratory Medicine's new Center for Personalized Diagnostics. When the antigens expressed by a patient's tumor cells are determined, their T cells will be engineered to express the universal immune receptor, which will be given back to them in combination with biotin-labeled molecules to attach to patients' tumor antigens for an individualized tumor attack.


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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