Immunotherapy: Timeline of key events

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The transplant was carried out by Richard O'Reilly and Robert Good. This lays the foundation for the routine use of bone marrow transplants for treating some blood cancers. Such transplants are classed as immunotherapy because immune cells from the donor kill cancer cells in the recipient. 1973-01-01T00:00:00+0000O Stutman, 'Tumor development after 3-methylcholanthrene in immunologically deficient athymic-nude mice', Science, 183 (1974), 534-6.1974-02-08T00:00:00+0000R Kiessling, E Klein, H Pross, H Wigzell, 'Natural” killer cells in the mouse. II. Cytotoxic cells with specificity for mouse Moloney leukemia cells. Characteristics of the killer cell', European Journal of Immunology, 5 (1975), 117-121.1975-02-01T00:00:00+0000M Jondal, H Pross, 'Surface markers on human B and T lymphocytes, Cytotoxicity against cell lines as a functional marker for lymphocyte subpopulations', International Journal of Cancer, 15 (1975) 15, 596-605. 1975-04-15T00:00:00+0000GT Stevenson, F K Stevenson, 'Antibody to a molecularly defined antigen confined to a tumour cell surface', Nature, 254 (1975), 714-16.1975-04-24T00:00:00+0000EA Carswell, LJ Old, RL Kassel, S Green, N Fiore, B Williamson, 'An endotoxin-induced serum factor that causes necrosis of tumors', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 72/9 (1975), 3666-70.1975-09-01T00:00:00+0000DA Morgan, FW Ruscetti, RC. Gallo, 'Selective in vitro growth of T lymphocytes from normal human bone marrows', Science, 193 (1976), 1007-08. 1976-09-10T00:00:00+0000JH Robinson, JJT Owen, 'Generation of T-cell function in organ culture of foetal mouse thymus I. Mitogen responsiveness', Clin Exp Immunol 23 (1977), 347-54.1977-02-01T00:00:00+0000FK Stevenson, E V elliott, G T Stevenson, 'Some effects of leukaemic B lymphocytes of antibodies to defined regions of their surface immunoglobulin', Immunology 3 (1977), 54-9.1977-04-01T00:00:00+0000FW Ruscetti, DA Morgan, RC Gallo, 'Functional and morphologic characterization of human T cells continuously grown in vitro', Jounral Immunology, 119 (1977), 131-8.1977-07-01T00:00:00+0000MJ Berendt, RJ North, DP, Kirstein, 'The immunological basis of endotoxin-induced tumor regression: requirement for T-cell-mediated immunity', J Exp Med, 148 (1978), 1550-9. 1978-12-01T00:00:00+00001980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Philip Karr, a patient with lymphoma, is treated by Ron Levy at Stanford University with a customised monoclonal antibody. It marks the first time a monoclonal antibody successfully treats cancer in a patient.1981-01-01T00:00:00+0000EA Grimm, A Mazumder, HZ Zhang, SA Rosenberg, 'Lymphokine-activated killer cell phenomenon', Journal Experimental Medicine, 155 (1982), 1823-41.1982-06-01T00:00:00+0000JP Allison, BW McIntyre, D Bloch, 'Tumor-specific antigen of murine T-lymphoma defined with monoclonal antibody', Journal Immunology, 129 (1982), 2293.1982-11-01T00:00:00+0000A N Houghton, M Eisinger, A P Albino, J G Cairncross, L J Old, 'Surface antigens of melanocytes and melanomas. Markers of melanocyte differentiation and melanoma subsets', Journal Experimental Medicine, 156/6 (1982), 1755-66.1982-12-01T00:00:00+0000T Taniguchi et al, 'Structure and expression of a cloned cDNA for human interleukin-2', Nature, 302 (1983), 305-10.1983-03-24T00:00:00+0000J Kappler et al, 'The major histocompatibility complex-restricted antigen receptor on T cells in mouse and man', Cell, 35 (1983), 295-02. 1983-11-01T00:00:00+0000SA Rosenberg, 'Adoptive immunotherapy of cancer: accomplishments and prospects', Cancer Treat Rep, 68/1 ( (1984): 233–55.1984-01-01T00:00:00+0000A Knuth, B Danowski, HF Oettgen, LJ Old, 'T cell-mediated cytotoxicity against malignant melanoma', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 81 (1984), 3511-15. 1984-06-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1973First successful bone marrow transplant from unrelated donorGood, O'ReillyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterCancer immunotherapy, Stem, cells, Transplantation, Oncology
8 Feb 1974Immune surveillance theory that immune system provides protection against cancer discredited by research showing that 'Nude' mice lacking immune system function no more likely to develop tumours than normal miceStutmanMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Feb 1975Natural killer cell identified in mice and shown to be important part of immune systemKiessling, Klein, Pross, WigzellKarolinska InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
15 Apr 1975Human natural killer cell isolatedJondal, ProssKarolinska InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
24 Apr 1975Discovery of unique molecular marker, idiotype, on blood cancer cells, opening new avenue for cancer diagnosis and therapyStevensonTenovus Research LaboratoryImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Sep 1975Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was discovered. It was the first immune molecule shown to kill cancer cellsCarswell, Old, Kassel, Green, Fiore, WilliamsonMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
10 Sep 1976Discovery of first T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2)Morgan, Ruscetti, GalloLitton Bioethics Research Laboratories, National Cancer InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Feb 1977Scientists find a way to generate T cells in thymic tissue in test tubes, paving the way study mechanisms underlying the regulation of T cell developmentRobinson, OwenUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1 Apr 1977Development of first anti-idiotype antibodies. These are shown to activate immune defense cells to attack tumour cells in guinea-pigsStevenson, ElliottTenovus Research LaboratoryImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Jul 1977T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2), discovered in mice, providing a means to grow and expand normal lypmphocytes in test tubesRuscetti, Morgan, GalloNational Cancer InstituteImnmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1978T cell-mediated immunity shown to aid tumour regressionBerendt, North, KirsteinTrudeau InstituteCancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1980US National Cancer Institute added $13.5 million to its budget for new Biological Response Modifiers, igniting search for agents able to modify host's response to tumour cells  Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1981First patient successfully treated with anti-idiotype monoclonal antibodyLevyStanford University Medical SchoolCancer immunotherapy, Monoclonal antibodies
Jun 1982Steven Rosenberg and colleagues first describe lymphokine-activated killer cellsGrimm, Mazumder, Zhang, RosenbergNational Cancer InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy
Nov 1982James Allison and collegues use monoclonal antibody to provide first biochemical description of tumour specific antigen of murine T-lymphomaAllison, McIntyre, BlochUniversity of Texas System Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Monoclonal antibodies, Oncology
1 Dec 1982First molecular markers, antigens, identified in melanoma tumours. These markers are now targeted by cancer drugsHoughton, Eisinger, Albino, Cairncross, OldMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
24 Mar 1983First cloning of Interleukin 2 (Il-2)Taniguchi, Matsui, Fujita, Takaoka, Kashmina, Yoshimoto, HamuroJapanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Ajinomoto Co IncImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Nov 1983A team of researchers including Philippa Marrack, John Kappler and James P Allison identified the first T cell antigen receptorKappler, Kubo, Haskins, Hannum, Marrack, Pigeon, McIntyre, Allison, TrowbridgeUniversity of Colorado, University of Texas System Cancer Center, National Jewish Hospital and Research Cener, Salk InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
1984Experiments show that injections with T-cell growth factor interleukin-2 can shrink tumours in humansRosenbergNational Cancer InstituteCancer immunotherapy, Adoptive cell therapy
Jun 1984First clinical experiments demonstrate the possibility of training T cells to attack tumoursKnuth, Danowski, Oettgen, OldMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology

1973

First successful bone marrow transplant from unrelated donor

8 Feb 1974

Immune surveillance theory that immune system provides protection against cancer discredited by research showing that 'Nude' mice lacking immune system function no more likely to develop tumours than normal mice

Feb 1975

Natural killer cell identified in mice and shown to be important part of immune system

15 Apr 1975

Human natural killer cell isolated

24 Apr 1975

Discovery of unique molecular marker, idiotype, on blood cancer cells, opening new avenue for cancer diagnosis and therapy

Sep 1975

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was discovered. It was the first immune molecule shown to kill cancer cells

10 Sep 1976

Discovery of first T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2)

Feb 1977

Scientists find a way to generate T cells in thymic tissue in test tubes, paving the way study mechanisms underlying the regulation of T cell development

1 Apr 1977

Development of first anti-idiotype antibodies. These are shown to activate immune defense cells to attack tumour cells in guinea-pigs

Jul 1977

T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2), discovered in mice, providing a means to grow and expand normal lypmphocytes in test tubes

1978

T cell-mediated immunity shown to aid tumour regression

1980

US National Cancer Institute added $13.5 million to its budget for new Biological Response Modifiers, igniting search for agents able to modify host's response to tumour cells

1981

First patient successfully treated with anti-idiotype monoclonal antibody

Jun 1982

Steven Rosenberg and colleagues first describe lymphokine-activated killer cells

Nov 1982

James Allison and collegues use monoclonal antibody to provide first biochemical description of tumour specific antigen of murine T-lymphoma

1 Dec 1982

First molecular markers, antigens, identified in melanoma tumours. These markers are now targeted by cancer drugs

24 Mar 1983

First cloning of Interleukin 2 (Il-2)

Nov 1983

A team of researchers including Philippa Marrack, John Kappler and James P Allison identified the first T cell antigen receptor

1984

Experiments show that injections with T-cell growth factor interleukin-2 can shrink tumours in humans

Jun 1984

First clinical experiments demonstrate the possibility of training T cells to attack tumours