In vivo antitumor activity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes expanded in recombinant interleukin-2

P. J. Spiess, J. C. Yang, S. A. Rosenberg

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248 Scopus citations


A method was described for the generation of cells from tumor-bearing mice; these cells were capable of exhibiting significant antitumor reactivity when adoptively transferred into tumor-bearing hosts. Tumor cell suspensions from a variety of tumors were able to be separated using enzymatic techniques and they were cultured in medium containing recombinant interleukin-2. Activated infiltrating lymphocytes within these tumors expanded; and, by 6-8 days after initiation of culture, lymphocytes predominated and were able to grow to large numbers. The adoptive transfer of these tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) made possible mediation of the reduction of established 3-day pulmonary micrometastases from 5 of 7 tumors tested, including two 3- methylcholanthrene (CAS: 56-49-5)-induced sarcomas, one 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (CAS: 540-73-8)-induced colon carcinoma, and the B16 melanoma, all in C57BL/6 mice, as well as the 1660 bladder carcinoma in BALB/c mice. Approximately 2-4x106 transferred cells were capable of totally eliminating 3-day established metastases. These cells were thus 50 to 100 times more effective than lymphokine-activated killer cells in reducing established metastases; however, they could not be generated from all tumors. The concomitant administration of recombinant interleukin-2 enhanced, by approximately fivefold, the in vivo activity of these cells. The specificity of action of TILs in vivo was different from that determined by classic amputation rechallenge experiments. The tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes that developed this antitumor reactivity appeared to be Thy-1+ and did not bear the asialo G(M1) antigen. The potent antitumor effect of these TILs, when transferred in vivo to tumor-bearing hosts, raises the possibility of utilizing similar approaches for the isolation and therapeutic use of lymphocytes with antitumor reactivity from human tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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