Blog | HemaCare

Customized Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Lung Cancer

Jul 28, 2020 10:04:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD

Relationship woman with mother cancer clinic_AdobeStock_222630122-1A recent Phase I trial studying the effect of TIL therapy on lung cancer shows promising results for long-term patient remission.

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are T-cells that infiltrate solid tumors to attack tumor antigens. Still, the tumor microenvironment inhibits T-cell growth leading to low numbers of the cells and insufficient immune response. Checkpoint proteins on tumor surfaces, such as PD-1, can also further inhibit T-cell response in tumors. However, in the case of melanoma, scientists have been able to achieve a complete remission with TILs that can last over a decade.The ability to achieve tumor remission with TIL therapy in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) was studied in a Phase I trial by a collaboration of scientists from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL and Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC. The study utilized autologous adoptive cell transfer, which involves taking T-cells from a patient’s tumor biopsy sample. The T cells are expanded in a laboratory setting then infused back into the same patient. The infusion occurs after treating the patient with chemotherapeutic agents to kill existing immune cells. Patients were treated with the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, and those who did not respond to nivolumab were included in the clinical study. 

Treatment of the patients with TIL leads to a 25% response rate. The first post-TIL CT scan observed tumor remission. The overall change in the sum of target lesion diameters reduced by a mean of 38%. Two of the twelve patients in the study maintained complete remission by nearly a year after TIL treatment. 

The primary adverse events observed were non-hematologic, including hypoalbuminemia, hypophosphatemia, nausea, hyponatremia, and diarrhea—however, the majority of these events resolved by ten days after TIL treatment. The results of the Phase 1 trial suggest that TIL may be a feasible and effective treatment for mNSCLC with a tolerable toxicity profile, and long-term remission is also achievable. The use of TIL immunotherapy may be a viable addition to available approaches to the treatment of solid tumors such as mNSCLC. 

HemaCare is providing high-quality samples to researchers in the fight against cancer. 


Customized Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Lung Cancer. (2020). Retrieved 10 June 2020, from

Topics: Cancer, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

      Subscribe Here!

      Posts by Topic

      see all

      Recent Posts