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    The accessibility of adoptive T-cell transfer therapies (ACT) is hindered by the cost and time required for product development. Here we describe a streamlined ACT protocol using Th17 cells expanded only 4 days ex vivo. While shortening expansion compromised cell yield, this method licensed Th17 cells to eradicate large tumors to a greater extent than cells expanded longer term. Day 4 Th17 cells engrafted, induced release of multiple cytokines including IL6, IL17, MCP-1, and GM-CSF in the tumor-bearing host, and persisted as memory cells. IL6 was a critical component for efficacy of these therapies via its promotion of long-term immunity and resistance to tumor relapse. Mechanistically, IL6 diminished engraftment of FoxP3+ donor T cells, corresponding with robust tumor infiltration by donor effector over regulatory cells for the Day 4 Th17 cell product relative to cell products expanded longer durations ex vivo. Collectively, this work describes a method to rapidly generate therapeutic T-cell products for ACT and implicates IL6 in promoting durable immunity of Th17 cells against large, established solid tumors. SIGNIFICANCE: An abbreviated, 4-day ex vivo expansion method licenses Th17 cells to confer long-lived immunity against solid malignancies via induction of systemic IL6 in the host.See related commentary by Fiering and Ho, p. 3795. ©2020 American Association for Cancer Research.


    Hannah M Knochelmann, Connor J Dwyer, Aubrey S Smith, Jacob S Bowers, Megan M Wyatt, Michelle H Nelson, Guillermo O Rangel Rivera, Joshua D Horton, Carsten Krieg, Kent Armeson, Gregory B Lesinski, Mark P Rubinstein, Zihai Li, Chrystal M Paulos. IL6 Fuels Durable Memory for Th17 Cell-Mediated Responses to Tumors. Cancer research. 2020 Sep 15;80(18):3920-3932

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    PMID: 32561531

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