Adoptive Cell Therapy: Exploring and Influencing Heterogeneity of TILs and CAR T Cells

Life Sciences, Laboratory Technology, Fundamental Research, Cell and Gene Therapy,
  • Thursday, May 02, 2024

The use of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells as adoptive cell therapies is a highly effective and potentially curative treatment for metastatic melanoma and the cluster of differentiation 19 (CD19+) B-cell malignancies, respectively. The personalization of these cellular therapies leads to a high diversity of outcomes between patients.

Infusion products received by individuals undergoing treatment also contain diverse cell populations. Therefore, navigating the heterogeneity within bulk populations of TILs and CAR T cells has been a major hurdle for predicting patient outcomes, as well as for improving adoptive cell therapy. In fact, the introduction of checkpoint inhibitors during the initial expansion phase of production can have remarkable downstream effects on TILs.

The co-encapsulation of individual effector and target cells using Xdrop® technology allows precise evaluation of cellular interactions as the platform provides a viable intra-droplet environment and is compatible with common flow cytometers and reagents. Notably, CAR T cells co-encapsulated with CD19+ target cells demonstrate variable levels of granzyme B production, suggesting nuanced differences in the cytolytic abilities of these cells.

Using DNA barcoding, the expert speaker explored the cancer-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) diversity of TILs from seven patients to discover that anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) treatment can increase the scope of TIL reactivity, while anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) intervention can increase the volume of overall TIL production.

Register for this webinar today to learn how to navigate the heterogeneity within bulk populations of TILs and CAR T cells as well as improve adoptive cell therapy.


Thomas Hulen, Herlev Hospital, Denmark

Thomas Hulen, Clinical Cancer Research PhD Student, National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Herlev Hospital, Denmark

Thomas Hulen is a PhD student pursuing clinical cancer research in the group of Dr. Inge Marie Svane at the National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy at Herlev Hospital. His PhD focuses on adoptive cell therapies using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and CAR T cells. Throughout his PhD, he has been involved in several projects and collaborations including the initiation of Denmark’s first academic CAR T clinical trial (DK-CLIC-1901), RNA-based CAR T production and T-cell receptor discovery in unique tumor-reactive TIL populations.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is relevant for Scientists and decision makers in corporate or academic settings working in:

  • CAR T and TIL cancer therapy
  • Cell or gene therapy (or other cancer immune cell therapy)
  • Immune cell biology (or other cell biology)

What You Will Learn

Attendees will learn about:

  • TIL and CAR T cell phenotypes vary both between and within patients
  • Checkpoint disruption during TIL production can result in the downstream alterations of TILs
  • Bulk CAR T cells possibly have subpopulations with variable anti-tumor potency
  • The Xdrop® single-cell format workflow helps identify these subpopulations

Xtalks Partner


Samplix ApS supports the life sciences and medical research communities with microfluidics-based solutions designed to deliver high-resolution insights into cells and genomes. Samplix stands ready to help academic, corporate and government researchers reach their goals in areas as diverse as engineered cell therapy, molecular engineering, and cell biology. We have developed unique microfluidics instruments to support molecular engineering: Xdrop and Xdrop Sort. These instruments enable high-throughput, sensitive, and accurate screening or functional population analysis with single-cell resolution by encapsulating living cells in highly stable double-emulsion droplets. These picoliter-sized droplets act as microenvironments for incubation and screening. Xdrop can change how you analyze and work with cells.

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