Although enormous progress has been made in the detection and treatment of localized (nonmetastatic) breast cancer, there has been relatively moderate progress toward the effective treatment of advanced disease. This study investigates the antitumor efficacy of a potent MHC nonrestricted cytotoxic human T cell line (TALL-104) upon transfer into a clinically relevant mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. Fragments from a surgical specimen of a patient with infiltrating ductal carcinoma were implanted s.c. in the flank region of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. One hundred % of the animals developed a local tumor mass that metastasized to subaxillary and inguinal lymph nodes, bones, lungs, liver, kidneys, ovaries, and brain, very closely mimicking the human disease. Multiple i.p. transfers of gamma-irradiated (nonproliferating) TALL-104 cells into mice bearing low tumor burden (the primary tumor mass weighed only 150 mg) completely arrested local tumor growth and prevented systemic spread into local lymph nodes and distant organs. Remarkably, cell therapy administered in an advanced disease stage (when the tumor weighed 2 g) induced a significant or total regression of established metastasis with no obvious effects on the primary tumor mass. Profound antitumor effects against both local and systemic disease were instead seen in mice that received cell therapy after surgical excision of the primary tumor. The implications of these data in adjuvant breast cancer therapy are discussed.

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