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Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.

Surgery Branch
Head, DNA Sequencing and FACS Cores
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
CRC, Rm. 3-5744
Bethesda, MD 20854
301 402-2069
301 451-6949


My group is focused primarily on 2 projects: studies of the association of characteristics of tumor reactive T cells administered to patients and clinical response and the generation of high affinity TCRs for the treatment of patients with cancer. These studies have demonstrated that T cell persistence as well as the telomere length of administered T cells is associated with clinical response. Additional studies have indicated that expression of the cellular differntiation marker CD27 is associated with response to therapy. Recent studies have focused on examining the effects of amino acid substitutions in the combining regions of the a and b chains of tumor reactive TCRs have resulted in the identification of high affinity variants of 6 TCRs that lead to enhanced tumor recognition. A modified T cell receptor (TCR) directed against the NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigen has now been used to transduce autologous PBMC that were administered to patients with melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma. In this PhaseI/II trial, objective responses were observed in 5 of 11 melanoma patients and 4 of 6 synovial cell sarcoma patients. Pre-clinical studies are now being carried out to develop methods to further enhance the responses of TCR-transduced T cells.

Gene cloning studies are also being carried out in an attempt to identify novel antigens recognized by TIL that were asssociated with clinical responses to adoptive immunotherapy.

This page was last updated on 6/10/2013.