T cell-based immunotherapy (such as CAR therapies) is a promising approach for the treatment of several cancers. However, T cells currently employed for various T cell-based immunotherapies are usually senescent and terminally differentiated leading to poor proliferative and survival capacity, limiting their therapeutic effectiveness once transferred into a patient’s blood.
Researchers in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch (ETIB) have epigenetically reprogrammed CD8+ T cell fate by overexpressing Phf19. The inventors found that overexpression of Phf19 in tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells limits T cell terminal differentiation and exhaustion. In addition, it was found that Phf19 overexpressing T cells exhibit enhanced proliferation and cytokine production, resulting in augmented anti-tumor activity in vivo. This technology is available for licensing and/or co-development.