A Rapid Method of Isolating Neoantigen-specific T Cell Receptor Sequences

Tumors can develop unique genetic mutations which are specific to an individual patient. Some of these mutations are immunogenic; giving rise to autologous T cells which are tumor-reactive. Once isolated and sequenced, these neoantigen-specific TCRs can form the basis of effective adoptive cell therapy cancer treatment regimens; however, current methods of isolation are inefficient. Moreover, the process is technically challenging due to TCR sequence diversity and the need to correctly pair the a and b chain of each receptor. Thus, there is an urgent need for more robust methods of identifying paired sequences of mutation-specific TCRs for cancer immunotherapy.

Researchers at the NCI have developed an efficient method for isolating the paired sequences of TCRs. Using single-cell methodology, next generation sequencing and custom bioinformatics software, the researchers can isolate full-length TCR α and β chain sequences from mutation-reactive T cells. These isolated sequences can facilitate adoptive cell therapy for cancer patients.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Personalized immunotherapy to treat cancer patients
  • ​Research tool to identify mutation-specific T-cell receptors
  • Broadly applicable to different types of malignant tumors
  • Limited off-target effects
  • Patient-specificity to improve efficacy of adoptive cell therapy
  • Rapid and scalable method of isolating neoantigen-specific TCRs

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)

Related Invention(s):


Yong-Chen Lu (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Zhili Zheng (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Peter Fitzgerald (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Steven Rosenberg (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Provisional Application No. 62/479,398

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-067-2017
Updated: Oct 6, 2017