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TGF-β-responsive CAR-T cells promote anti-tumor immune function.

  • Author(s): Hou, Andrew J
  • Chang, ZeNan L
  • Lorenzini, Michael H
  • Zah, Eugenia
  • Chen, Yvonne Y
  • et al.

A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that responds to transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) enables the engineering of T cells that convert this immunosuppressive cytokine into a potent T-cell stimulant. However, clinical translation of TGF-β CAR-T cells for cancer therapy requires the ability to productively combine TGF-β responsiveness with tumor-targeting specificity. Furthermore, the potential concern that contaminating, TGF-β?producing regulatory T (Treg) cells may preferentially expand during TGF-β CAR-T cell manufacturing and suppress effector T (Teff) cells demands careful evaluation. Here, we demonstrate that TGF-β CAR-T cells significantly improve the anti-tumor efficacy of neighboring cytotoxic T cells. Furthermore, the introduction of TGF-β CARs into mixed T-cell populations does not result in the preferential expansion of Treg cells, nor do TGF-β CAR-Treg cells cause CAR-mediated suppression of Teff cells. These results support the utility of incorporating TGF-β CARs in the development of adoptive T-cell therapy for cancer.

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