Adoptive T-cell transfer (ACT) offers a curative therapeutic option for subsets of melanoma and hematological cancer patients. To increase response rates and broaden the applicability of ACT, it is necessary to improve the post-infusion performance of the transferred T cells. The design of improved treatment strategies includes transfer of cells with a less differentiated phenotype. Such T cell subsets have high proliferative potential but require stimulatory signals in vivo to differentiate into tumor-reactive effector T cells. Thus, combination strategies are needed to support the therapeutic implementation of less differentiated T cells. Here we show that systemic delivery of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) facilitates in vivo priming and expansion of previously non-activated T cells and enhance the cytotoxicity of activated T cells. To achieve this in vivo priming, we use flexible delivery vehicles of TAAs and a TLR7/8 agonist. Contrasting subcutaneous delivery systems, these vehicles accumulate TAAs in the spleen, thereby achieving close proximity to both cross-presenting dendritic cells and transferred T cells, resulting in robust T-cell expansion and anti-tumor reactivity. This TAA delivery platform offers a strategy to safely potentiate the post-infusion performance of T cells using low doses of antigen and TLR7/8 agonist, and thereby enhance the effect of ACT.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a European council Grant (ERC-2012-StG_20111109), The Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship Grant, The Novo Foundation Synergy Grant and the Danish Research Council for Independent Research Sapere Aude Grant.