• adoptive cell transfer;
  • telomerase;
  • pancreatic carcinoma;
  • antigen-specific T-cells;
  • nonmyeloablative chemotherapy



Adoptive cell transfer is described as an innovative and challenging option for the treatment of malignant melanoma. In the current study, the generation and expansion of telomerase-specific T-cells for adoptive cell transfer and their use in a syngeneic pancreatic carcinoma mouse model was investigated.


Telomerase-specific T-cells were generated either in vitro by coculture of human lymphocytes with telomerase-peptide-pulsed dendritic cells or in vivo by injection of peptide plus adjuvant into C57BL/6 mice. Spleens were harvested after immunization and lymphocytes were expanded in the presence of feeder cells. T-cells were tested in vitro against human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched, telomerase-positive pancreatic carcinoma cells. Tumor-bearing (subcutaneous) mice pretreated with cyclophosphamide were injected intravenously with the expanded cells.


It was possible to generate and expand telomerase-specific T-cells with cytotoxic activity. The protocol did not work as well in the murine setting. However, adoptive cell transfer with murine antigen-specific T-cells delayed disease progression in tumor-bearing mice significantly.


Generation of antigen-specific T-cells is feasible; the expansion of these cells could be accomplished without loss of function. Antigen-specific T-cells demonstrated significant cytotoxic activity in a syngeneic, subcutaneous mouse model. However, further optimization of the expansion protocol is warranted. Cancer 2006. © 2005 American Cancer Society.