The clinical use of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes for the treatment of solid tumours is hindered by the need to obtain large and fresh tumour fractions, which is often not feasible in patients with unresectable tumours or recurrent metastases. Here we show that circulating tumour-reactive lymphocytes (cTRLs) can be isolated from peripheral blood at high yield and purity via microfluidic immunomagnetic cell sorting, allowing for comprehensive downstream analyses of these rare cells. We observed that CD103 is strongly expressed by the isolated cTRLs, and that in mice with subcutaneous tumours, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes isolated from the tumours and rapidly expanded CD8+CD103+ cTRLs isolated from blood are comparably potent and respond similarly to immune checkpoint blockade. We also show that CD8+CD103+ cTRLs isolated from the peripheral blood of patients and co-cultured with tumour cells dissociated from their resected tumours resulted in the enrichment of interferon-γ-secreting cell populations with T-cell-receptor clonotypes substantially overlapping those of the patients’ tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes. Therapeutically potent cTRLs isolated from peripheral blood may advance the clinical development of adoptive cell therapies.



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Nature Biomedical Engineering

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Peninsula Medical School