Adoptive immunotherapy with infusion of ex vivo expanded tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is an attractive approach to anticancer therapy owing to the high levels of antitumour specificity that can be achieved. Now, the outcomes of a phase II study in which patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical (n = 18) and noncervical (n = 11) cancers reveal that this approach is feasible and is effective in some patients. TIL cultures were expanded ex vivo in the presence of tumour specimens and administered to patients as a single infusion following a nonmyeloablative chemotherapy conditioning regimen. Objective responses were observed in 28% of patients (5/18) with cervical cancer and in 18% (2/11) without. Two responses were complete and were ongoing at the time of analysis (at 67 and 53 months after infusion). The adverse event profile was consistent with that of the chemotherapy regimen: no infusion-related or autoimmune toxicities were reported.
Stevanovic, S. et al. A phase II study of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy for human papillomavirus-associated epithelial cancers. Clin. Cancer Res. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-2722 (2018)
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Sidaway, P. TIL infusions effective in HPV-associated cancers. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 16, 144 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41571-018-0160-6