Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Study Explores Adoptive Cell Therapy for Refractory NSCLC

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

For patients with refractory non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), autologous Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell therapy may prove to be an effective therapeutic option, according to the early findings of a multicenter, phase II study published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. However, although this therapy seemed to be well tolerated by patients and yielded an acceptable disease control rate, the primary efficacy endpoint—progression-free survival—was not achieved, explained Jun Nakajima, MD, PhD, of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, and colleagues.

A total of 25 patients with adenocarcinoma (n = 20), squamous cell carcinoma (n = 4), and large cell carcinoma (n = 1) were enrolled in the study. All patients had previously received at least two treatment regimens of chemotherapy for unresectable disease or had been given one chemotherapy or radiation treatment for recurrent disease. Patients received autologous Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell therapy, but just 16 patients completed all 6 injections. After treatment, zoledronate and interleukin-2 were used to culture the peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

The investigators reported a 95-day and 418-day mean progression-free survival and median overall survival, respectively. In addition, their findings revealed 16 patients with stable disease, 8 patients with progressive disease, and 1 patient with a partial response. Furthermore, the objective response rate was 4%, and the disease control rate was 68%.

Moreover, nine patients developed severe adverse effects associated with progression of their disease. Specifically, as a result of Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell therapy, one patient developed an inflammatory response and pneumonitis, which was also associated with the disappearance of a massive tumor.

“Selecting patients with biomarkers, improving study design by focusing on patients with unmet medical needs, and gene engineering with T-cell receptors or chimeric antigen receptors may be required to reveal the power of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells for the treatment of cancer,” the authors proposed.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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