A Method to Isolate Tumor Specific T-Cells or T-Cell Receptors from Peripheral Blood using In-vitro Stimulation of Memory T-Cells

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) and T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies use lymphocytes that target somatic mutations expressed by tumors cells to treat cancer patients. One of the challenges of these therapies is the identification and isolation of mutation-specific cells and TCRs. While neoantigen specific cells are relatively abundant in the tumor, they are far less common in peripheral blood, a more accessible source of T cells. 

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a method to isolate neoantigen specific cells or TCRs from selected populations of peripheral T-cells by performing in-vitro stimulation (IVS) on autologous memory T-cells. These cells have been stimulated by their cognate antigens at the tumor site or its draining lymph nodes, and therefore are more relevant for clinical use.  

The NCI, Surgery Branch, is seeking licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for the development of a method to isolate tumor specific T-cells or T-cell receptors from peripheral blood. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D. at sar@nih.gov.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • T-cell isolation for ACT or TCR therapy
  • Solid or blood-borne cancers
  • Capable of identifying T-cells or TCRs against mutated epitopes that can be processed and presented in vivo by antigen-presenting cells
  • Capable of isolating very low-frequency T-cell clones, e.g. neoantigen specific cells in the blood
  • Useful for isolating neoantigen specific TCRs that can be transduced into autologous T-cells for ACT therapy 
  • Isolates T-cells or TCRs against known mutated driver genes to build a library of TCRs that can be used to treat multiple cancer patients across different histologies

Development Stage:
Discovery (Lead Identification)

Related Invention(s):


Gal Cafri (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Steven Rosenberg (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Application No. PCT/US2018/063563

Cafri G, et al. Memory T cells targeting oncogenic mutations detected in peripheral blood of epithelial cancer patients.  PMID 30683863

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-238-2017
Updated: Jun 28, 2019