Skip to main content

Volume 2 Supplement 3

Abstracts of the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)

  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

GIFT4-augmented B cells for melanoma immunotherapy

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and one of the fastest growing cancers in the USA. Immunotherapy, by enhancing patient's immune system, has become an attractive approach for melanoma treatment due to the rapid drug resistance to chemotherapy. B cells are a heterogeneous cell population in the host immune system functionally as antibody-producers, antigen-presenting cells or regulatory cells. In the tumor microenvironment, B cells are among the heavy tumor-infiltrating immune cells. But B cell's role in anti-tumor immunity remains controversial. Our lab has recently developed a novel GM-CSF and IL-4 fusion cytokine named GIFT4 (GMCSF and IL4 Fusion Transgene). This technology builds upon the successful development of "fusokine" platform [GIFT15] (Nature Medicine, 2009, 15: 1038-45). We discovered GIFT4 possess novel gain-of-function of immune activities, elicits robust B cell response and consequent killer T cell immunity against melanoma. GIFT4 protein has potent immune signaling activities, induces hyper-phosphorylation of STAT1, 3 and 5 in B cells, and reprograms B cells from melanoma patients into CD40+CD80+ CD83+CD86+ antigen-presenting cells profiled by flow cytometry. Luminex assay reveals that GIFT4-B cells secrete substantial amount of IL-2, innate cytokines IL-6 and GM-CSF, chemokines CCL2, CCL3, CCL4 and CCL5, and adhesion molecule ICAM-1, but not IL-10 and IFN- γ. Those GIFT4-B cells robustly promote sustained ex vivo expansion of tumor-killing T cells that are IFN-γ+, NKG2D+ Granzyme B+ and granulysin+, and produce Fas ligand and TRAIL. Moreover, human GIFT4-B cell licensed cytotoxic T cells kill human melanoma cells in in vitro and in NSG immune deficient mice. We expect that GIFT4, as an anti-melanoma agent, will provide a novel strategy and opens a new avenue for human B cell-based immunotherapy against melanoma. We propose that GIFT4-B cells from melanoma patients could serve as a potential immunotherapeutic agent for personalized melanoma cell immunotherapy.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Deng, J., Pennati, A., Yuan, S. et al. GIFT4-augmented B cells for melanoma immunotherapy. j. immunotherapy cancer 2 (Suppl 3), P9 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: