T cell-based immunotherapy is promising as a treatment for multiple types of cancer but current techniques limit our ability to measure T cell characteristics of interest and select the most efficacious cells for a therapy. New technologies are needed to allow us to identify the drivers of desired phenotypes such as polyfunctionality, serial killing, and proliferation.
To develop these powerful therapeutics, several complex and difficult to measure T cell characteristics are of interest:
- Polyfunctionality. Producing multiple cytokines, these T cells are considered the most potent antitumor effector T cells
- Serial killing. Especially desired for CAR-T cells, serial killing T cells can quickly destroy multiple target cells
- Proliferation. T cells that can maintain proliferative capacity after antigenic stimulation provide longer-term anti-tumor protection