Co-Director of the Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Cancer Immunology and Metabolism Center of Excellence
Engineered T cell therapy has demonstrated high response rates and frequent complete responses in hematologic malignancies and holds promise for the treatment of wide-ranging cancers. Relative to hematologic cancers, progress in solid tumors, and especially in common epithelial cancers, has been more measured. However, recent clinical trials have established clear proof of principle for the approach, with two T cell receptor (TCR) gene-engineered T cell approaches demonstrating safety and clinical activity in HPV-associated epithelial cancers. A recent trial, targeting the E7 antigen, showed robust tumor regression in highly refractory cancers including cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, anal cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer and tumors that were resistant to PD1-based therapies. These and other studies in a range of malignancies are guiding expanded application of engineered T cell therapy and the development of next-generation technologies.