The recent success of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for treatment of hematologic malignancies supports further development of treatments for both liquid and solid tumors. However, expansion of CAR-T cell therapy is limited by the availability of surface antigens specific for the tumor while sparing normal cells. There is a rich diversity of tumor antigens from intracellularly expressed proteins that current and conventional CAR-T cells are unable to target. Furthermore, adoptively transferred T cells often suffer from exhaustion and insufficient expansion, in part, because of the immunosuppressive mechanisms operating in tumor-bearing hosts. Therefore, it is necessary to develop means to further activate and expand those CAR-T cells in vivo. The Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) is an intracellular oncogenic transcription factor that is an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy because of its overexpression in a wide range of leukemias and solid tumors, and a low level of expression in normal adult tissues. In the present study, we developed CART cells consisting of a single chain variable fragment (scFv) specific to the WT1235-243/HLA-A*2402 complex. The therapeutic efficacy of our CAR-T cells was demonstrated in a complex can be boosted by vaccination.
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