Adoptive immunotherapies composed of T cells engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) offer an attractive strategy for treatment of human cancer. However, CARs have a fixed antigen specificity such that only one tumor-associated antigen (TAA) can be targeted, limiting the efficacy that can be achieved due to heterogeneous TAA expression. For this reason, a more generalized and effective application of CAR therapy would benefit from the capability to produce large panels of CARs against many known TAAs. In this study, we demonstrate a novel strategy to extend the recognition specificity potential of a bioengineered lymphocyte population, allowing flexible approaches to redirect T cells against various TAAs. Our strategy employs a biotin-binding immune receptor (BBIR) composed of an extracellular-modified avidin linked to an intracellular T cell signaling domain. BBIR T cells recognized and bound exclusively to cancer cells pre-targeted with specific biotinylated molecules. The versatility afforded by BBIRs permitted sequential or simultaneous targeting of a combination of distinct antigens. Together, our findings demonstrate that a platform of universal T cell specificity can significantly extend conventional CAR approaches, permitting the tailored generation of T cells of unlimited antigen specificity for improving the effectiveness of adoptive T cell immunotherapies for cancer.
- Received December 2, 2011.
- Revision received January 18, 2012.
- Accepted February 3, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Association for Cancer Research.