Scientists have developed a new method for engineering more potent immune cells that can potentially be used for “off-the-shelf” cell therapy to treat challenging cancers. The team focused on gamma delta T cells, an immune cell known for its ability to target a wide range of cancers, including solid tumors, without causing graft-versus-host disease, a common complication in allogeneic cell therapies. Although gamma delta T-cell therapies have been studied before, they have had limited clinical success due to donor variability, short-lived persistence and the ability of cancer cells to evade or avoid the body’s immune response. However, the researchers found that donor gamma delta T cells with high expressions of a CD16 surface marker had a greater ability to kill cancer cells. The team of scientists was able to efficiently produce the most potent cells in large quantities, which they then tested on two different preclinical models of ovarian cancer. They found that the cells were capable of attacking tumors and remained in the models for a long time, enabling them to continue their anti-tumor effects. In addition, there was no evidence of complications such as graft-versus-host disease.