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IL-2 engineered MSCs rescue T cells in tumours

IL-2 is a powerful growth factor for T cells. New work shows that immune checkpoint blockade depends upon the presence of IL-2, and that mesenchymal stem cells can be efficiently engineered to safely deliver it directly in advanced tumours to rescue CD8+ T cell responsiveness to anti-PD-L1 antibody treatment.

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Fig. 1: Intratumoural delivery of SIL2 by EMSCs rejuvenates pre-existing CD8+ TILs to control tumours.


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Correspondence to George Coukos.

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Competing interests

G.C. has received grants or research support from, or is coinvestigator in clinical trials by, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Tigen Pharma, Iovance and Kite. The Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) has received honoraria for advisory services G.C. has provided to AstraZeneca AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb SA, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, MSD Merck AG and Geneos Therapeutics. G.C. has patents in the domain of antibodies and vaccines targeting the tumour vasculature as well as technologies related to T cell expansion and engineering for T cell therapy. G.C. has received royalties from the University of Pennsylvania. The three co-authors are included in an intellectual property filing regarding an IL-2 variant.

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Irving, M., Ortiz-Miranda, Y. & Coukos, G. IL-2 engineered MSCs rescue T cells in tumours. Nat Cell Biol 24, 1689–1691 (2022).

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