T cells can be engineered to target tumor cells by transduction of tumor-specific chimeric receptors, consisting of an extracellular antigen-binding domain and an intracellular signaling domain. However, the peripheral blood of cancer patients frequently contains an increased number of T regulatory cells, which appear to inhibit immune reactivity. We have investigated the effects of T regulatory cells on chimeric T cells specific for the B-cell antigen CD19, as B-cell malignancies are attractive targets for chimeric T-cell therapy. When a CD19 single-chain Fv antibody was coupled to the CD3 zeta (ζ) chain, there was sharply reduced activity on exposure to T regulatory cells, measured by CD19+ target-induced proliferation and cytotoxicity. By contrast, expression in T cells of a chimeric receptor consisting of the intracellular portion of the CD28 molecule fused to the ζ-chain and CD19 single-chain Fv not only produced a higher proliferative response and an increased nuclear factor κB activation but also sustained these activities in the presence of T regulatory cells. These effects are seen whether the chimeric T cells are derived from normal donors or from patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, indicating the potential for clinical application in B cell malignancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research