T-cell receptor (TCR) gene therapy is one of the gene-engineered T-cell therapies utilizing the potential anti-cancer reactivity of T-lymphocytes. Generally, T-lymphocytes circulate in blood and protect a body from foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses etc. On the other hand, proteins called cancer antigen are presented on the surface of cancer cells, which makes T-lymphocytes capable of recognizing and attacking these cancer cells. This therapy is one of cancer immunotherapies and is recently garnering attention as a new cancer therapy.

In this therapy, TCR genes which specifically recognize cancer antigens are transduced into T-lymphocytes isolated from a patient, and the gene-transduced cells are cultured in a large scale, and subsequently infused back into the patient. By using different TCR genes, TCR gene therapy can provide treatment for various cancers. In the manufacturing process, it is important to transduce the genes with high efficiency into T-lymphocytes, and RetroNectin® is used for this purpose.

Note : As for RetroNectin® , please refer to the following link below.

Takara Bio has been developing siTCR™ gene therapy using the siTCR™ vector technology. The siTCR™ vector technology minimizes the involvement of endogenous TCRs and allows for obtaining more T-lymphocytes that express the exogenous TCR. This is considered to reduce the risk of side effects and improve efficacy.

We have been developing NY-ESO-1 siTCR™ gene therapy for synovial sarcoma in Japan and preparing for the submission for manufacturing and marketing approval.
We are also driving forward with the development of siTCR™ gene therapies as a joint project with Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada.

Mode of action

Cancer antigen specific TCR gene transduced T-lymphocytes exert cytotoxicity on cancer cells by the following mode of action and mediate anti-tumor effect such as tumor regression.

  • Tumor antigen specific TCR is expressed on the cell surface of TCR gene transduced T-lymphocytes.
  • The expressed TCR molecules recognize tumor antigens (complex of an HLA molecule and a presented antigen peptide) of target tumor cells. Subsequently, signal transduction is activated within gene-transduced T-lymphocytes, and cytotoxic activity against cancer cells is exerted by release of cytotoxic molecules.

Reference information
  • Ishihara M, Kitano S, Kageyama S, et al. NY-ESO-1-specific redirected T cells with endogenous TCR knockdown mediate tumor response and cytokine release syndrome. J Immunother Cancer 2022 Jun; 10(6): e003811.
  • Tawara I, Kageyama S, Miyahara Y, et al. Safety and persistence of WT1-specific T-cell receptor gene-transduced lymphocytes in patients with AML and MDS. Blood blood-2017-06-791202, 2017.
  • Kageyama S, Ikeda H, Miyahara Y, et al. Adoptive Transfer of MAGE-A4 T-cell Receptor Gene-Transduced Lymphocytes in Patients with Recurrent Esophageal Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 21(10):2268-2277, 2015.
  • Okamoto S, Amaishi Y, Goto Y, et al. A Promising Vector for TCR Gene Therapy: Differential Effect of siRNA, 2A Peptide, and Disulfide Bond on the Introduced TCR Expression. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 1:e63, 2012.
  • Okamoto S, Mineno J, Ikeda H, et al. Improved expression and reactivity of transduced tumor-specific TCRs in human lymphocytes by specific silencing of endogenous TCR. Cancer Res. 69(23):9003-9011, 2009.
Information of academic conferences
Conference Title
The 26th Annual Meeting of Japanese Association of Cancer Immunology
July 20 - 22, 2022
Shimane, Japan
T-cell characteristics associated with cytokine release syndrome (CRS) after NY-ESO-1·TCR-T cell transfer
2022 ASCO (Annual Meeting - American Society of Clinical Oncology)
June 3 - 7, 2022
Chicago, U.S.A.
The addition of fludarabine to cyclophosphamide for lymphodepleting chemotherapy enhances the persistence of infused NY-ESO-1 TCR anticancer therapy TBI-1301.
(Click here for presented data)
ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) 2019 Congress
September 27 - October 1, 2019
Barcelona, Spain
A novel affinity-enhanced NY-ESO-1 targeting TCR-redirected T cell transfer exhibited early-onset cytokine release syndrome and subsequent tumor responses in synovial sarcoma patients
(Click here for presented data)
Adoptive T cell therapy with TBI-1301 results in gene-engineered T cell persistence and anti-tumor responses in patients with NY-ESO-1 expressing solid tumors
(Click here for presented data)
2019 ASCO (Annual Meeting - American Society of Clinical Oncology)
May 31 - June 4, 2019
Chicago, U.S.A.
Tumor responses and early onset cytokine release syndrome in synovial sarcoma patients treated with a novel affinity-enhanced NY-ESO-1-targeting TCR-redirected T cell transfer
(Click here for presented data)
Effect of minimal lymphodepletion prior to ACT with TBI-1301, NY-ESO-1 specific gene-engineered TCR-T cells, on clinical responses and CRS
(Click here for presented data)
SITC (The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer) 2018
November 7 -11, 2018
Washington, D.C.
Adoptive cell transfer with NY-ESO-1 specific TCR T cells (TBI-1301) results in persistence, cytokine release syndrome and anti-tumor activity
ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) 2018 Congress
October 19 - 23, 2018
Munich, Germany
Study of TBI-1301 (NY-ESO-1 specific TCR gene transduced autologous T lymphocytes) in patients with solid tumors
The 22nd Annual Meeting of Japanese Association of Cancer Immunology
August1 - 3, 2018
Okayama, Japan
Development of cell therapy using cancer-specific T cells
The 16th Annual Meeting of Japanese Society of Medical Oncology (JSMO)
July19 - 21, 2018
Kobe, Japan
First-In-Human clinical trials of TCR-engineered T cells transfer for patients with refractory solid malignant tumors
The 1st Meeting of Japanese Association of Sarcoma Treatment and Research (JSTAR)

CRS after adoptive transfer of NY-ESO-1 specific TCR-engineered T cells for patients with refractory synovial sarcoma
Immunotherapy Targeting NY-ESO-1 for Sarcomas
The 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting
December 9 - 12 , 2017
Atlanta, U.S.A
Cytokine release syndrome and tumor responses in a first-in-man trial of a novel affinity-enhanced TCR-gene transduced T cell transfer targeting NY-ESO-1 antigen
The 55th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Clinical Oncology
October 20 - 22, 2017
Yokohama, Japan
Adoptive Transfer of Tumor Specific T-cell Receptor Gene-Transduced Lymphocytes -
Clinical Effect and Immune Related Adverse Event (irAE)-
Adoptive T cell therapy for cancer patients
The 25th Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
October 17 - 20, 2017
Berlin, Germany
Cytokine release syndrome and tumor responses in a first-in-man trial using affinity-enhanced TCR-gene transduced T cells transfer in patients with NY-ESO-1(+) refractory solid tumors
The 76th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association
September 28 - 30, 2017
Yokohama, Japan
Two clinical trials of adoptive transfer of TCR-engineered T cells specific to MAGE-A4 and NY-ESO-1
Clinical response and cytokine release syndrome following adoptive transfer of NY-ESO-1 specific TCR-engineered T cells NY-ESO-1
The 23rd Annual Meeting of
Japan Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
July 20 - 22, 2017,
Okayama, Japan
Clinical trials of NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-A4 targeting TCR-gene transduced T cell transfer to patients with refractory solid tumors
The 21st Annual Meeting of Japanese Association of Cancer Immunology
June 28 - 30, 2017
Chiba, Japan
Cytokine release syndrome and clinical responses after adoptive transfer of NY-ESO-1/TCR gene-transduced T cells
In vitro safety evaluation, and in vivo kinetic analysis of transfused cells and serological analysis in TCR-engineered T-cell therapy targeting NY-ESO-1

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