Research ArticleCANCER

Combined tumor-directed recruitment and protection from immune suppression enable CAR T cell efficacy in solid tumors

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Science Advances  09 Jun 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 24, eabi5781
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abi5781


CAR T cell therapy remains ineffective in solid tumors, due largely to poor infiltration and T cell suppression at the tumor site. T regulatory (Treg) cells suppress the immune response via inhibitory factors such as transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β). Treg cells expressing the C-C chemokine receptor 8 (CCR8) have been associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors. We postulated that CCR8 could be exploited to redirect effector T cells to the tumor site while a dominant-negative TGF-β receptor 2 (DNR) can simultaneously shield them from TGF-β. We identified that CCL1 from activated T cells potentiates a feedback loop for CCR8+ T cell recruitment to the tumor site. This sustained and improved infiltration of engineered T cells synergized with TGF-β shielding for improved therapeutic efficacy. Our results demonstrate that addition of CCR8 and DNR into CAR T cells can render them effective in solid tumors.

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