Establishment of adoptive cell therapy with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes for non-small cell lung cancer patients

Ronny Ben-Avi, Ronit Farhi, Alon Ben-Nun, Marina Gorodner, Eyal Greenberg, Gal Markel, Jacob Schachter, Orit Itzhaki*, Michal J. Besser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) of tumor infiltration lymphocytes (TIL) yields promising clinical results in metastatic melanoma patients, who failed standard treatments. Due to the fact that metastatic lung cancer has proven to be susceptible to immunotherapy and possesses a high mutation burden, which makes it responsive to T cell attack, we explored the feasibility of TIL ACT in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Multiple TIL cultures were isolated from tumor specimens of five NSCLC patients undergoing thoracic surgery. We were able to successfully establish TIL cultures by various methods from all patients within an average of 14 days. Fifteen lung TIL cultures were further expanded to treatment levels under good manufacturing practice conditions and functionally and phenotypically characterized. Lung TIL expanded equally well as 103 melanoma TIL obtained from melanoma patients previously treated at our center, and had a similar phenotype regarding PD1, CD28, and 4-1BB expressions, but contained a higher percent of CD4 T cells. Lung carcinoma cell lines were established from three patients of which two possessed TIL cultures with specific in vitro anti-tumor reactivity. Here, we report the successful pre-clinical production of TIL for immunotherapy in the lung cancer setting, which may provide a new treatment modality for patients with metastatic NSCLC. The initiation of a clinical trial is planned for the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1230
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Adoptive cell therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes


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