Lineage tracing reveals clonal progenitors and long-term persistence of tumor-specific T cells during immune checkpoint blockade

Joy A. Pai, Matthew D. Hellmann, Jennifer L. Sauter, Marissa Mattar, Hira Rizvi, Hyung Jun Woo, Nisargbhai Shah, Evelyn M. Nguyen, Fathema Z. Uddin, Alvaro Quintanal-Villalonga, Joseph M. Chan, Parvathy Manoj, Viola Allaj, Marina K. Baine, Umesh K. Bhanot, Mala Jain, Irina Linkov, Fanli Meng, David Brown, Jamie E. ChaftAndrew J. Plodkowski, Mathieu Gigoux, Helen H. Won, Triparna Sen, Daniel K. Wells, Mark T.A. Donoghue, Elisa de Stanchina, Jedd D. Wolchok, Brian Loomis, Taha Merghoub, Charles M. Rudin, Andrew Chow, Ansuman T. Satpathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Paired single-cell RNA and T cell receptor sequencing (scRNA/TCR-seq) has allowed for enhanced resolution of clonal T cell dynamics in cancer. Here, we report a scRNA/TCR-seq analysis of 187,650 T cells from 31 tissue regions, including tumor, adjacent normal tissues, and lymph nodes (LN), from three patients with non-small cell lung cancer after immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Regions with viable cancer cells are enriched for exhausted CD8+ T cells, regulatory CD4+ T cells (Treg), and follicular helper CD4+ T cells (TFH). Tracking T cell clonotypes across tissues, combined with neoantigen specificity assays, reveals that TFH and tumor-specific exhausted CD8+ T cells are clonally linked to TCF7+ SELL+ progenitors in tumor draining LNs, and progressive exhaustion trajectories of CD8+ T, Treg, and TFH cells with proximity to the tumor microenvironment. Finally, longitudinal tracking of tumor-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell clones reveals persistence in the peripheral blood for years after ICB therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-790.e7
JournalCancer Cell
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • TCF-1 progenitor exhausted T cells
  • exhausted T cells
  • immune checkpoint blockade
  • lung cancer
  • single-cell RNA/TCR sequencing
  • tumor-specific T cells

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