Cancer immunotherapy

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Locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: adoptively transferred tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte immunotherapy following concurrent chemoradiotherapy

Adoptive cell therapy ( ACT ) for cancers using autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes ( TILs ) can induce immune responses and antitumor activity in metastatic melanoma patients.

Researchers aimed to assess the safety and antitumor activity of ACT using expanded TILs following concurrent chemoradiotherapy ( CCRT ) in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma ( NPC ).

Twenty-three newly diagnosed, locoregionally advanced patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma were enrolled, of whom 20 received a single-dose of TIL infusion following CCRT.

All treated patients were assessed for toxicity, survival and clinical and immunologic responses. Correlations between immunological responses and treatment effectiveness were further studied.

Only mild adverse events, including grade 3 neutropenia ( 1/23, 5% ) consistent with immune-related causes, were observed.

Nineteen of 20 patients exhibited an objective antitumor response, and 18 patients displayed disease-free survival longer than 12 months after ACT.

A measurable plasma Epstein-Barr virus ( EBV ) load was detected in 14 patients at diagnosis, but a measurable EBV load was not found in patients after one week of ACT, and the plasma EBV load remained undetectable in 17 patients at 6 months after ACT.

Expansion and persistence of T cells specific for EBV antigens in peripheral blood following TIL therapy were observed in 13 patients.
The apparent positive correlation between tumor regression and the expansion of T cells specific for EBV was further investigated in four patients.

The study has shown that patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma can tolerate ACT with TILs following CCRT and that this treatment results in sustained antitumor activity and anti-EBV immune responses. ( Xagena )

Li J et al, Oncoimmunology 2015;4(2):e976507. eCollection 2015.