TABLE 2.

Indications for a combination of TCR CDR3 analysis with the quantitative TCR VB assessment

AnalysisAdvantages and comments
Definition of the CD4+/CD8+ T-cell population in patients with cancer or viral infection, or undergoing epitope-based vaccinationThis may be useful if no tetramer reagents are available or if the entire CD4/CD8 T-cell population is examined for TCR diversity, particularly in studies addressing T-cell homeostasis
Identification of T-cell malignanciesDetection of monoclonal TCR transcripts and quantitation.
Determination of superantigen effects on T cellsExpansion of certain polyclonal VB families
Identification of individual expanded VB families in PBL or freshly harvested TILIndividual VB families may be present in sufficient numbers to allow flow-cytometric sorting; such T cells may represent effector cells directed against cancer cells or virus-associated antigens
Longitudinal analysis of the quality and quantity of peripheral T cells in patients undergoing T-cell reconstitution, e.g. during highly active anti-retroviral therapy, or in patients receiving bone marrow transplantationCan be used for gauging the restoration of the CD4/CD8 T-cell compartment(s)
Comparison of the TCR diversity within an individual patient in different anatomic compartmentsTo compare the T-cell infiltrate in the tumor (or any inflammatory) lesion, the T-cell infiltrate should be separated after CD4+/CD8+ staining to allow a comparison with the TCR diversity within the CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell population