Combination cell and drug therapy for solid cancers
In 2022, there were 1.7 million estimated new solid cancer diagnoses and 500,000 estimated deaths. Existing chemo- and radiotherapies are not specific enough to the cancerous cells, causing debilitating off-target effects. New therapies have tried to expand and activate tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), the naturally occurring immune cells that destroy tumor cells, but these therapies only work in a small percentage of patients. There is a need for an improved specific and targeted solid cancer treatment that can be used by more patients.
Duke inventors have developed a combination cell and drug therapy for solid cancers. This is intended to be used as an adoptive cell therapy. Specifically, CD8+ TILs are isolated from the patient’s tumor biopsy and expanded ex vivo in the presence of IL-2 and IL-10 to enhance their tumor-killing capacity. Additionally, CD8+ TILs are expanded in the presence of complement signaling inhibitors, enhancing their endogenous IL-10 production. The TILs are then transferred back into the patient. Duke inventors have demonstrated that the inhibition of complement signaling and IL-10 addition significantly improved their anti-tumor responses in an in vivo mouse model of melanoma cancer and isolated TILs from lung cancer patients.
- More specific than systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
- Utilizes endogenous tumor-killing cells derived from the patient, reducing the immunologic barrier.
- Adds another treatment modality and can be combined with other immune checkpoint inhibitors.
- Produces IL-10 at the tumor site, avoiding toxic effects of systemic IL-10 administration.
- Easy to incorporate into existing cell expansion protocols.
- Demonstrated in an in vivo cancer model.