An efficient strategy to induce and maintain in vitro human T cells specific for autologous Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma

Glenda Canderan, Paola Gruarin, Daniela Montagna, Raffaella Fontana, Giulio Melloni, Catia Traversari, Paolo Dellabona, Giulia Casorati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The efficient expansion in vitro of cytolytic CD8+ T cells (CTLs) specific for autologous tumors is crucial both for basic and translational aspects of tumor immunology. We investigated strategies to generate CTLs specific for autologous Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC), the most frequent tumor in mankind, using circulating lymphocytes. Principal Findings: Classic Mixed Lymphocyte Tumor Cultures with NSCLC cells consistently failed to induce tumor-specific CTLs. Cross-presentation in vitro of irradiated NSCLC cells by autologous dendritic cells, by contrast, induced specific CTL lines from which we obtained a high number of tumor-specific T cell clones (TCCs). The TCCs displayed a limited TCR diversity, suggesting an origin from few tumor-specific T cell precursors, while their TCR molecular fingerprints were detected in the patient's tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, implying a role in the spontaneous anti-tumor response. Grafting NSCLC-specific TCR into primary allogeneic T cells by lentiviral vectors expressing human V-mouse C chimeric TCRa/b chains overcame the growth limits of these TCCs. The resulting, rapidly expanding CD4+ and CD8+ T cell lines stably expressed the grafted chimeric TCR and specifically recognized the original NSCLC. Conclusions: This study defines a strategy to efficiently induce and propagate in vitro T cells specific for NSCLC starting from autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12014
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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