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Roswell ParkNew Approach to Adoptive T-Cell Therapy Shows Promise for Boosting Immune Response in Ovarian Cancer

Bispecific T-cell engagers (BiTEs) supplied via modified T cells are used in preclinical research at Roswell Park.

Researchers at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed an innovative approach to treat ovarian cancer. Using bispecific T-cell engagers (BiTEs) and engineered T cells, the team aims to augment the host immune response. Although traditional adoptive T-cell therapy has shown limited efficacy in ovarian cancer, the new method seeks to harness both infused and bystander T cells, opening a promising pathway for treatment.

Key Points:

  • The novel technique focuses on delivering T cells that secrete BiTEs to target folate receptor alpha (FRα), commonly found in ovarian cancer.
  • Researchers have created FR-B T cells using retroviral transduction, instructing them to target FRα-positive cancer cells.
  • In preclinical studies, FR-B T cells efficiently destroyed FRα+ cell lines and rallied bystander T cells, maintaining activity outside the tumor for prolonged periods.

Additional Points:

  • The study was published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), led by Dr. A. J. Robert McGray, the principal investigator.
  • Dr. Emese Zsiros, Chair of Roswell Park’s Department of Gynecologic Oncology, was the senior author.
  • A clinical trial is being planned to further evaluate this T-cell therapy.


  • The novel approach of using BiTE-secreting T cells presents a promising opportunity to enhance immunotherapy in ovarian cancer, potentially offering new therapeutic options for a disease that has been historically challenging to treat.

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“We believe that FR-B T cells have the potential to generate potent antitumor immune responses against ovarian cancer and may, in the near future, benefit patients who otherwise are not expected respond to immunotherapy.”

A.J. Robert McGray, PhD
Principal Investigator & First Author
Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at Roswell Park
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