T cells currently employed for T cell-based immunotherapies are often senescent, terminally differentiated cells with poor proliferative and survival capacity. Recently, however, scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) identified and characterized a new human memory T cell population with stem cell-like properties. Since these T cells have limited quantities in vivo, the scientists have developed methods by which high numbers of these cells can be generated ex vivo for use in T cell-based immunotherapies. Specifically, this invention describes a method for generating the stem cell-like memory T cells by stimulating naive T cells in the presence of GSK-3beta inhibitors. The invention also provides methodology for obtaining the stem cell-like memory T cells by sorting T cell lymphocytes using flow cytometry. These stem cell-like memory T cells display enhanced proliferation and survival upon transfer, have the multipotent capacity to generate all memory and effector T cell subsets, and show increased anti-tumor activity in a humanized mouse tumor model. Consequently, the coupling of T cell receptor or chimeric receptor gene transfer with this method will enable the generation of a large number of memory stem cells with the desired specificity to effectively treat patients with cancer and chronic infectious diseases.
- Enhanced proliferation and survival upon transfer
- Multipotent capacity to generate all memory and effector T cell subsets
- Increased anti-tumor activity
- Ex vivo generation of stem cell-like memory T cells for T cell-based immunotherapy
- Treatment for patients with cancer and chronic infectious diseases