Engineering bionic T cells: signal 1, signal 2, signal 3, reprogramming and the removal of inhibitory mechanisms
Iñaki Etxeberria, Irene Olivera, Elixabet Bolaños, Asunta Cirella, Álvaro Teijeira, Pedro Berraondo, Ignacio Melero
Gene engineering and combinatorial approaches with other cancer immunotherapy agents may confer capabilities enabling full tumor rejection by adoptive T cell therapy (ACT). The provision of proper costimulatory receptor activity and cytokine stimuli, along with the repression of inhibitory mechanisms, will conceivably make the most of these treatment strategies.
In this sense, T cells can be genetically manipulated to become refractory to suppressive mechanisms and exhaustion, last longer and differentiate into memory T cells while endowed with the ability to traffic to malignant tissues. Their antitumor effects can be dramatically augmented with permanent or transient gene transfer maneuvers to express or delete/repress genes. A combination of such interventions seeks the creation of the ultimate bionic T cell, perfected to seek and destroy cancer cells upon systemic or local intratumor delivery.