TIL Therapy

What is TIL Therapy?   Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy is a type of T-cell transfer immunotherapy. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are T- lymphocytes that have been able to enter the tumor from the blood and can recognize and target cancer cells. The presence of TILs in tumors is associated with better outcomes. However, they can get depleted and cancer cells can decrease efficacy by avoiding detection.

In TIL therapy, these cells are extracted from the patient, are evaluated and undergo expansion in the lab. The patient is then given chemotherapy or radiation therapy to decrease the number of immune cells in the body, especially inhibitory Treg cells. The TILs are then re-introduced into the patient’s body along with IL-2 to help stimulate the expansion of the TILs.

What Cancers are Treated with TIL Therapy?

Currently, TIL therapy is still under investigation to treat solid tumors, such as Melanoma, and has not yet received FDA approval.

Common Side Effects

TIL therapy has a good safety profile and is generally tolerated well. However, it can cause side effects in some people, including:

  • Cytopenia secondary to the chemotherapy given during the waiting period.
  • Allergic reaction
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Opportunistic infections

Source: Kumar, A., Watkins, R., & Vilgelm, A. (2021, June 1). Cell Therapy With TILs: Training and Taming T Cells to Fight Cancer. Front Immunol., 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.690499