Adoptive Cell Therapy

"Using gene modification techniques, we are regulating intracellular immune checkpoints that are key to T cell function and differentiation with the aim of improving the therapeutic efficacy of adoptive cell transfer".


The immunology research group in Adoptive Cell Therapy at Cima focuses on the study of T lymphocytes and the development of T-cell therapy strategies for cancer treatment.

T-cell therapy is a new type of advanced and personalized medicine that uses the patient's own lymphocytes to fight tumors. In these approaches, T cells are isolated from patients, given new competencies while expanded to large numbers, and, finally, they are infused back into the patient. This type of therapy has achieved important results in hematological tumors and some solid tumors, such as melanoma, but more effective strategies need to be developed to extend this therapy to more types of cancer.

Cell therapy approaches include:

  • Tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TILs), which possess a natural receptor, known as TCR, that allows them to recognize tumors.
  • T cells genetically modified to express a tumor-specific transgenic receptor. Depending on the type of transgenic receptor we can distinguish between: TCR-T cell therapies (modified to express a tumor-specific TCR), and CAR-T cell therapies (expressing a chimeric receptor, known as CAR, capable of recognizing a tumor antigen).

Our research is focused on improving the efficacy of T-cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumors, with special attention to the development of TCR therapies, given the abundance of tumor antigens that can only be recognized by these receptors. 

Dra. Sandra Hervás


   +34 948 194 700 | Ext. 81 3005

Objectives of the Adoptive Cell Therapy Research Group

We investigate new methods to identify patient-specific anti-tumor TCRs.

We seek to improve CAR-T therapy in solid tumors through the local release of cells and the use of CAR-targeting vaccine.

We study the qualities that a T lymphocyte must have to be a good "performer" in cell therapy.

We develop our research in preclinical models that reflect the difficulties of T-cell therapy in the clinic.

We collaborate in the analysis of the T-cell response in clinical trials.

In short, we seek to enhance immunotherapy treatments through cross-cutting research.


Personalized cancer treatment

Our group has identified molecular characteristics of tumor-specific T cells that allow the identification of TCR candidates for TCR-T therapy.

This multidisciplinary study opens the door to personalized treatment of patients with this disease

Meet the research team

Scientific activity of the
Adoptive Cell Therapy Research Group