Vγ9Vδ2 T Cells : Can We Re-Purpose a Potent Anti-Infection Mechanism for Cancer Therapy?

Cancer therapies based on in vivo stimulation, or on adoptive T cell transfer of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells, have been tested in the past decades but have failed to provide consistent clinical efficacy. New, promising concepts such as γδ Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) -T cells and γδ T-cell engagers are currently under preclinical evaluation. Since the impact of factors, such as the relatively low abundance of γδ T cells within tumor tissue is still under investigation, it remains to be shown whether these effector T cells can provide significant efficacy against solid tumors. Here, we highlight key learnings from the natural role of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in the elimination of host cells bearing intracellular bacterial agents and we translate these into the setting of tumor therapy. We discuss the availability and relevance of preclinical models as well as currently available tools and knowledge from a drug development perspective. Finally, we compare advantages and disadvantages of existing therapeutic concepts and propose a role for Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in immune-oncology next to Cluster of Differentiation (CD) 3 activating therapies.


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