Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Masoud Manjili


Metastatic breast cancer treatment has seen few advances in recent years, yet treatment resistance continues to rise, causing disease recurrence. A pilot study was performed to determine the efficacy of ex vivo expansion and reprogramming of tumor-reactive immune cells from experimental metastatic tumor-sensitized mice. Also, phenotypic changes in tumors due to metastasis or tumor microenvironment influences were characterized. Metastatic neu+ mouse mammary carcinoma (mMMC) and its distant relapsing neu-antigen-negative variant (mANV) were investigated in FVBN202 mice. Tumor-reactive central memory CD8+ T cells and activated NK/NKT cells were successfully reprogrammed and expanded during 6-day expansion from mMMC- and/or mANV-sensitized mice, resulting in tumor-specific cytotoxicity. mMMC exhibited a flexible neu-expression pattern and acquired stem-like, tumorigenic phenotype following metastasis while mANV remained stable except decreased tumorigenicity. Myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) levels were not increased. Adoptive cellular therapy (ACT) with reprogrammed tumor-reactive immune cells may prove effective prophylaxis against metastatic or recurrent breast cancer.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013