Adoptive cancer immunotherapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T-cells holds great promise, although several obstacles hinder the efficient generation of cell products under good manufacturing practice (GMP). Patients are often immune compromised, rendering it challenging to produce sufficient numbers of gene-modified cells. Manufacturing protocols are labour intensive and frequently involve one or more open processing steps, leading to increased risk of contamination. We set out to develop a simplified process to generate autologous gamma retrovirus-transduced T-cells for clinical evaluation in patients with head and neck cancer. T-cells were engineered to co-express a panErbB-specific CAR (T1E28z) and a chimeric cytokine receptor (4αβ) that permits their selective expansion in response to interleukin (IL)-4. Using peripheral blood as starting material, sterile culture procedures were conducted in gas-permeable bags under static conditions. Pre-aliquoted medium and cytokines, bespoke connector devices and sterile welding/sealing were used to maximise the use of closed manufacturing steps. Reproducible IL-4-dependent expansion and enrichment of CAR-engineered T-cells under GMP was achieved, both from patients and healthy donors. We also describe the development and approach taken to validate a panel of monitoring and critical release assays, which provide objective data on cell product quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1797
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • chimeric antigen receptor
  • closed process
  • good manufacturing practice
  • interleukin-4
  • retrovirus


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