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Multiplex single-cell tracing across time and division states enables control of T-cell differentiation

Summary of work

PICI scientists at Stanford used single cell mass cytometry to trace how therapeutic T-cells grow and multiply, creating a comprehensive “cellular map” of all the stages of T-cell expansion. They demonstrated that this roadmap can be used to guide cells into a more potent, active state for therapeutic purposes. The work brings a greater understanding of T-cell expansion, a key component in creating CAR-Ts and cell therapy to treat cancer. Parker Institute researchers Sean Bendall, PhD, and Garry Nolan, PhD, are senior authors. PICI Scholar Zinaida Good, PhD, also of Stanford, is first author.

Why this is impactful to patients

To make immunotherapy more effective for more patients, researchers are hard at work to find new ways to measure all the changes that occur in the immune system following the development of a tumor. These PICI researchers at Stanford found a clever way to do this using a special dye and isotope-labeled antibody with an advanced platform called CyTOF. They can now trace back the lineage of T-cells even further using this new method, providing more insight into a T-cell’s history than was ever available before. “Together with the data from the other markers, this technical advance will allow for much more nuanced understandings of the timing and kinetics of the immune response to cancer,” said Nick Bayless, PhD, PICI research scientist.