Cancer Immunotherapy Based on Mutation-Specific CD4+ T Cells in a Patient with Epithelial Cancer

Science  09 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6184, pp. 641-645
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251102

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

T Cells for Epithelial Tumors

Malignant tumors harbor genetic alterations. Recently, adoptive T cell therapies have taken advantage of this: T cells specific for mutations in tumors are infused into patients to generate an antitumor immune response. Although therapeutic benefit has been seen for melanomas, effectiveness against more common epithelial tumors is unclear. Using whole-exome sequencing, Tran et al. (p. 641) identified tumor-infiltrating CD4+ T cells specific for a mutated antigen expressed by a tumor from a patient with metastatic cholangiocarcinoma. Infusion of this patient with an expanded-population, mutation-specific T cell resulted in tumor regression and stabilization of disease.


Limited evidence exists that humans mount a mutation-specific T cell response to epithelial cancers. We used a whole-exomic-sequencing-based approach to demonstrate that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from a patient with metastatic cholangiocarcinoma contained CD4+ T helper 1 (TH1) cells recognizing a mutation in erbb2 interacting protein (ERBB2IP) expressed by the cancer. After adoptive transfer of TIL containing about 25% mutation-specific polyfunctional TH1 cells, the patient achieved a decrease in target lesions with prolonged stabilization of disease. Upon disease progression, the patient was retreated with a >95% pure population of mutation-reactive TH1 cells and again experienced tumor regression. These results provide evidence that a CD4+ T cell response against a mutated antigen can be harnessed to mediate regression of a metastatic epithelial cancer.

  • Corresponding author. E-mail: sar{at}

View Full Text

Cited By...