[Illinois] Cancer Community Symposium 2012: A Sensitivity Scale for Targeting T Cells with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) and Bispecific T Cell Engagers (BiTE)

By Jennifer Stone

Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

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Using a patients immune system to target cancer and maintain long-term surveillance is an attractive goal. Although T cells can respond potently to tumors, immune tolerance mechanisms often result in deletion or inactivation of those T cells expressing specific T cell receptors (TCRs) against effective target epitopes. To overcome this problem, two approaches using antibodies against cancer-associated epitopes have been designed to re-direct T cell activity. In one approach, the binding domain (scFv) of an anti-cancer antibody is linked to intracellular signaling domains, yielding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that is expressed on ex vivo-activated T cells for adoptive therapy. In the second approach, the anti-cancer scFv is fused to another scFv that binds the TCR/CD3 complex, yielding an injectable product called a bispecific T cell engager (BiTE). Here, we directly compared the sensitivity of each strategy directed against a unique tumor epitope on the transmembrane glycoprotein OTS8. While both approaches showed efficient anti-tumor activities, CAR-targeted T cells were consistently more sensitive than BiTE-targeted T cells to low numbers of antigens per target cell. Using a panel of targets with varying levels of OTS8, we have constructed a sensitivity scale, providing a guide for applying these approaches under various conditions.

Cancer Community At Illinois Symposium 2012

April 5-6, 2012: Connecting patient care, research, and scientific advancement

Symposium Premise
This on-campus research symposium aims to bring together members of campus and the surrounding community to foster interdisciplinary discussions on cancer research and its affects on patient care. In order to increase understanding and awareness, we will discuss in an open forum with research talks, poster presentations, and panel discussions. We invite community members, clinicians, and researchers from UIUC and other Midwest regional institutions from departments ranging from the social sciences to basic sciences to engineering and medicine.
The symposium features invited talks from nationally-recognized cancer researchers, oral presentations from UIUC faculty and students, and poster sessions. We encourage student researchers from UIUC and from other regional schools to apply (travel awards are available).

About CC@I Symposium
The Cancer Community at Illinois (CC@I) Symposium is organized by a group of students on the University of Illinois campus to bridge the areas of social science, basic sciences to engineering and medicine as they relate to cancer. The symposium mission is to: 1) Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding that transcends established departmental affiliation; 2) Foster an increased understanding of the social and environmental factors affecting patients; and 3) Develop unique vantage points afforded by interactive dialogue between and among the various cancer research disciplines. In order to accomplish this, the symposium will engage the local patient community through use of the nascent social and support efforts of the Mills Breast Cancer Institute, Carle Hospital, and regional clinical collaborators.
If you are interested in other CC@I events or the program in general, please contact cancer-community@illinois.edu


Jennifer D. Stone Research Scientist, Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Authors: Jennifer D. Stone*, David H. Aggen, Hans Schreiber, and David M. Kranz

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Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jennifer Stone (2012), " [Illinois] Cancer Community Symposium 2012: A Sensitivity Scale for Targeting T Cells with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) and Bispecific T Cell Engagers (BiTE)," http://nanohub.org/resources/13941.

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Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


Obaid Sarvana, NanoBio Node

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign