Transphagocytic T cells as anti cancer immunotherapy

Desarrollado por: IIS del Hospital Universitario de La Princesa


The research group led by Dr Esteban Veiga Chacón at the National Center for Biotechnology (CNBCSIC), together with Scientists from the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa (CBMSO-CSIC), the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Health Research Institute of La Princesa University Hospital, has developed a new method for anti-cancer immunotherapy based on transphagocytic lymphocytes (tiCD4+ T cells). 


The results shows, for the first time, that CD4+ T cells, the paradigm of adaptive immune cells, and contrary to the current view, are bona fide antigen presenting cells. It has recently shown that CD4+ T cells capture (and kill) bacteria from infected dendritic cells (DCs) in a process termed transinfection. Now, they have shown that CD4+ T cells process and cross-present bacterial antigens to naïve CD8+ T cells, which massively proliferate and become cytotoxic, triggering an immune response to cancer and infectious diseases. The therapeutic potential of this potent activation of CD8+ T cells was tested using an aggressive melanoma tumor model (B-16OVA). They have showed that mice vaccinated with tiCD4+ T cells capturing bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes) expressing tumor antigens (OVA) are protected against tumor formation, which highlights the potential of tiCD4+ T cells as a potential tool for cancer immunotherapy.



Referencia: Cruz-Adalia A. et al. Cell Host Microbe. 2014; 15: 611-622


 The invention has application to prevent/treat tumors and/or stimulation of immune response against tumor antigens.

 CD4 T cells are new antigen presenting cells that can be useful as a cancer immunotherapy tool.

 The invention can be applied for melanoma and other high immunogenic tumors.

 The anti-tumoral activity of tiT CD4+ is even higher than the activity of dendritic cells against tumor growth.

 A single injection of transphagocytic T cells was enough to protect against the growth of an aggressive melanoma, while the vaccine based on DCs require more doses and even though, do not have the same positive results.

Estado de protección

Spanish Priority Patent has been filed 

Cooperación que se desea

Companies interested in a patent license or investors for creation of a start-up are being sough.
En busca de codesarrolladores, En desarrollo, Transferible
Tecnología sanitaria:
Biotecnología y Diagnóstico Molecular (proteómica, genómica, etc...), Medicamentos - Farma