From left: Steven M. Dubinett and Edward Garon of UCLA.
Researchers will inject patients’ lung cancer tumors with a combination of pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug, and the patient’s own immune cells—specifically, dendritic cells—with the intent to more effectively assist T cells in recognizing and responding to the cancer. These dendritic cells will be genetically modified with CCL21, a molecule which attracts T cells into the tumor as demonstrated in a previous trial led by Dubinett that involved injecting patients with their own CCL21-modified dendritic cells. This CIRM-funded combination therapy trial is intended to prove even more effective in part because of pembrolizumab’s ability to block a T cell-inhibiting protein called PD-L1.
Read more in the press release from the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research (BSCRC).
The trial is also supported by BSCRC and the CIRM-funded UCLA-UCI Alpha Stem Cell Clinic.