GMCSF.IL18 chimeric cytokine receptor for solid tumors (SJ-19-0028)

St. Jude Reference #SJ-19-0028


Researchers at St. Jude created a chimeric switch receptor, GM18, to improve immunotherapy treatment of solid tumors. The novel receptor is activated by GM-CSF and then works through its IL-18 receptor portion to activate MyD88. That leads to production of a variety of molecules that sustain T cell growth and enhance T cell antitumor response. Tumor-specific chimeric T cells expressing with the novel receptor were more than 10-fold more effective than standard CAR-T cells in preclinical models of pediatric solid tumors.

In murine models for osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, tumors shrank and disappeared in more than 90% of cases at which standard CAR-T cells were ineffective. The new receptor also allowed CAR-T cells to function after repeated re-exposure to tumor cells, which had previously limited the effectiveness of the immunotherapy in treatment of solid tumors.

Work is underway to streamline production of CAR.GM18-T cells. Additional preclinical testing is also planned to assess the safety and effectiveness of GM18 in preclinical pediatric solid tumor models.


Immunotherapy, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), cancer, solid tumor, brain tumor, T cells, IL18, GM-CSF.

Granted patents or published applications

Pending international application published as WO 2021/141986 

Licensing opportunities

We are seeking partners to develop and commercialize this chimeric switch receptor for the adoptive immunotherapy with CAR T cells, abTCR T cells, gdT cells, NKT cells, NK cells, and/or macrophages. Contact:

Contact the Office of Technology Licensing (Phone: 901-595-2342, Fax: 901-595-3148) for more information.