gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Cellular immunotherapy with reactivated autologous Memory T-Cells from bone marrow in late stage breast cancer patients

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Florian Schütz - Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Deutschland
  • Kathrin Ehlert - Universitätsfrauenklinik Heidelberg
  • Andreas Schneeweiss - Universitätsfrauenklinik Heidelberg
  • Christof Sohn - Universitätsfrauenklinik Heidelberg
  • Volker Schirrmacher - Universitätsfrauenklinik Heidelberg
  • Phillip Beckhove - Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPE053

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Schütz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Tumorspecific Memory T-cells (MTC) can be found in the bone marrow (BM) in the majority of primary and metastatic breast cancer (BC) patients by using ELISpot-analysis. Upon specific restimulation with tumourantigen-pulsed dendritic cells (DC) those autologous T-cells exert specific effector functions like IFN-gamma or perforin production and specific cytotoxicity. Furthermore we have shown in NOD/Scid-mice that reactivated MTC are able to infiltrate autologous and heterologous tumor tissue, proliferate and kill tumor cells by induction of apoptosis, leading to a marked or complete tumor rejection within 21 days after transfer (Nature Med, 2001). Endocrine and cytostatic cancer therapies only have a limited influence on the frequency of tumorspecific MTC in BM of BC patients. In a phase-I trial 11 patients with metastatic BC (inclusion criteria) were treated with autologous reactivated MTC of BM. Primary objective were feasbility, and toxicity, secondary were clinical response, and immunomonitoring. After testing patient´s BM for presence of tumorspecific MTC those cells were reactivated by incubating them in vitro with autologous DC pulsed with MCF-7 lysate for 12 days. Reactivated T-cells and pulsed DCs were injected once intravenously. Follow Ups were done after 7, 14, 21, 28, and 120 days. Study design was feasible in every way. There were no side effects found during and after T-cell injection. There was a partial response in 3 of 5 measurable patients. In 5 Patients -who received a maximum of reactivated T-cells- we were still able to find those cells 7 days after vaccination. We conclude that cellular immunotherapy with autologous reactivated MTC is an innovative, feasible way of low-toxicity BC treatment. We thus prepare a phase-II trial in metastatic and primary BC patients.