Research press release


Nature Medicine

Fighting neuroblastoma


細胞傷害性Tリンパ球(CTL)はがん細胞と闘う力をもつ免疫細胞だが、長期間生きられないため、体内での抗腫瘍活性には限界がある。その理由の1つは、CTLの効率的な働きを促す適切な副刺激分子が、標的となる腫瘍細胞に普通は存在しないことである。M Brennerたちは、CTLを遺伝子操作してGD2という分子に対する抗原受容体を発現させることによって、この問題を克服した。GD2はヒトの神経芽細胞腫が発現する腫瘍関連分子で、著者たちは、CTLがこのGD2受容体を介して最適刺激を受け、生存率と抗腫瘍活性が高まるのだと判断している。


A strategy to treat neuroblastoma using the patient’s immune cells is published online this week in Nature Medicine.

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), a type of immune cell that can be directed to fight cancer cells, do not survive long term and have limited antitumour activity within the body. This is partly because the target tumour cells typically lack appropriate co-stimulatory molecules that enhance the effectiveness of the CTLs. Malcolm Brenner and his colleagues have now overcome this limitation by engineering CTLs to express an antigen receptor directed to GD2, a tumor-associated molecule expressed by human neuroblastoma cells. The authors reasoned that these CTLs would receive optimal co-stimulation, enhancing their survival and antitumour activity mediated through the GD2 receptors.

Studying patients with neuroblastoma, the authors find that CTLs expressing the GD2-specific receptor indeed survived longer than control T lymphocytes. Infusion of these engineered cells had no adverse effects and was associated with tumour regression in half of the subjects tested. This leads to the conclusion that CTLs could be a powerful weapon for combating neuroblastoma, and perhaps other tumors, in people.

doi: 10.1038/nm.1882


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