T cell receptor engineering for the treatment of RET fusion-positive NSCLC

Grant title (if any)
RETpositive / LUNGevity Foundation Lung Cancer Research Award
Alexandre Reuben, PhD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Despite advances in the development of RET inhibitors, patients with RET fusions eventually progress. Immunotherapy has been inefficient in patients harboring RET fusions. However, RET fusion proteins themselves may be immunogenic and give rise to an immune response. Dr. Reuben hypothesizes that RET fusions give rise to immunogenic antigens which can be effectively recognized and targeted by engineered T-cells. This project will identify which antigens can elicit an immune response. This information will be used to engineer customized T-cells to gain the ability to recognize those cancer cells that produce these RET fusion proteins. The ultimate goal is to offer new therapeutic alternatives by expanding the possibility of immunotherapy treatment in the overwhelming majority of NSCLC patients harboring RET fusions.