Thistlethwaite, Fiona C; Elkord, Eyad; Griffiths, Richard W; Burt, Deborah J; Shablak, Alaaeldin; Campbell, John D M; Gilham, David E; Austin, Eric B; Stern, Peter L; Hawkins, Robert E (2008-05)
PURPOSE: CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (T(reg)) cells are present in increased numbers in patients with advanced cancer and CD25(+) T cell depletion potentiates tumour immunity in animal models. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and safety of adoptive transfer of CD25(+) depleted autologous T cells in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma and to examine resulting changes in lymphocyte subsets. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Six patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma underwent leukapheresis followed by conditioning chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide and fludarabine. The autologous leukapheresis product was depleted of CD25(+) cells using CliniMACS System then re-infused into the patient. RESULTS: Efficient CD25(+) depletion from all leukapheresis products was achieved and 0.55-5.87 x 10(7)/kg CD3(+) cells were re-infused. Chemotherapy related haematological toxicity was observed, but blood counts recovered in all patients allowing discharge after a mean inpatient stay of 21 days. One patient subsequently developed a rapidly progressive neurological syndrome. A transient reduction in CD25(+) subset was noted in the peripheral blood of 5 out of 6 patients with evidence of increased T cell responses to PHA in 4 out of 6 patients. One patient showed increased specific proliferative responses to the tumour associated antigen h5T4 coinciding with the nadir of T(reg) cells. CONCLUSIONS: Given the transient nature of the reduction in CD25(+) subset and the observed toxicity there is a need to explore further strategies to improve the safety and efficacy of this approach. Nevertheless, the results provide proof of concept in potentiation of tumour antigen T cell responses when T(reg) cell levels are depleted.
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