Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD
After nearly 30 years of research, tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology is being investigated as a means of producing personalized immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma in a small clinical trial that may help open the door for broader application in other solid tumor types.
The mechanism of action for TILs is relatively straightforward, Weber said. Following resection, TILs are isolated from the tumor and are expanded to billions of cells in vitro. These potent TILs are then infused back into a patient. Ideally, TIL therapy is combined with preparative nonmyeloablative chemotherapy and posttransfer high-dose bolus interleukin-2 (IL-2), according to Weber.
Efficacy Evidence Building
Research into TILs began in the 1980s at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where Weber was a fellow at the time. Today, TIL technology is being used at eight locations worldwide, including the NCI, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Moffitt Cancer Center in the United States. TIL therapy centers are being established at three additional locations around the world.
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