Use of Heterodimeric IL-15 in Adoptive Cell Transfer

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) is a promising immunotherapeutic approach for cancer treatment. During ACT, if a patient is subjected to lymphodepletion prior to cell transfer, there is an observed improvement in a patient’s response to treatment. However, lymphodepletion is associated with detrimental effects, including severe immune dysfunction that persists after treatment.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a technology that provides formulations and dosage protocols for administration of hetIL-15 to replace lymphodepletion in ACT. Administration of hetIL-15 may not only replace lymphodepletion in ACT, it may also increase ACT efficiency due to its ability to increase lymphocyte growth, differentiation, and tumor entry. NCI’s technology provides specific dosage and treatment schedules of hetIL-15 to improve tumor entry and increase and maintain the number of tumor-specific lymphocytes in the tumor with an acceptable toxicity profile. Therefore, administration of hetIL-15 with ACT can replace lymphodepletion in cancer immunotherapy protocols. Thus, the NCI’s cancer immunotherapeutic protocol replicates the advantages of lymphodepletion preconditioning of the host for successful ACT while avoiding the adverse effects associated with lymphodepletion.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • CAR T-cell therapy
  • Adoptive transfer of lymphocytes
  • Allows Adoptive Cell Transfer (ACT) or CAR T-cell therapy without lymphodepleting treatment
  • May support engraftment, function and maintenance of ACT cells administered with or without prior lymphodepletion

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)

Related Invention(s):


George Pavlakis (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Barbara Felber (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Cristina Bergamaschi (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Foreign Filed Pat: - issued -

Ng SSM, et al. Heterodimeric IL-15 treatment enhances tumor infiltration, persistence and effector functions of adoptively transferred tumor-specific T cells in the absence of lymphdepletion. PMID 27986749

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-132-2016
Updated: Sep 7, 2017