Cellular immunotherapy is an innovative treatment approach that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer several types of cellular immunotherapy, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy, dendritic cell vaccine and we are continually investigating additional options. These novel treatments are helping to transform the landscape for many current and future cancer patients.
CAR T-cell therapy and TCR therapy are similar in that both involve the placement of a specific gene in a patient’s immune cells (T-cells) to redirect the T-cells to target and destroy cancerous cells. T-cells are collected from a patient’s blood, then modified in a lab so that they will have specific antigen receptors on their surfaces (antigen receptors attach to proteins found on the surfaces of cancer cells). The altered T-cells are then multiplied in the lab and infused back into the patient’s blood, where they will circulate throughout the patient’s body, seek out cancerous cells and launch a precise immune attack against them.
TIL therapy is designed to capitalize on the fact that some tumors contain immune system cells (TILs). TILs are collected from tumor samples and then treated in a lab with a specific protein called interleukin-2 (IL-2), which causes the TILs to multiply. When injected back into the patient, the TILs can become active cancer fighters.
At Moffitt, cellular immunotherapy is currently being used in a number of ways. For instance:
- CAR T-cell therapy can be used to treat certain types of cancer, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, transformed follicular lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
- TCR gene transfers, which require human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching, can be used to treat several types of malignancies, including lung cancer, sarcomas and multiple myeloma.
- TIL therapy can be used to treat malignant melanoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, genitourinary carcinoma and lung cancer.
Cellular immunotherapy continues to be a very active area of research at Moffitt. Through our robust clinical trials program, many of our patients have opportunities to benefit from our breakthrough discoveries, and our multispecialty team is committed to providing outstanding clinical services and support for those who are receiving immunotherapies. Our outstanding team of scientists and clinicians is continually exploring new ways to use these advanced treatments to treat cancer, with a goal to one day find a cure.
If you’d like to learn more about cellular immunotherapy, you can contact Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.