GD2 Specific CAR and Interleukin-15 Expressing Autologous NKT Cells to Treat Children With Neuroblastoma (GINAKIT2)
0-9 years 10-17 years 18-26 years
This research study combines two different ways of fighting cancer: antibodies and Natural Killer T cells (NKT). Antibodies are types of proteins that protect the body from infectious diseases and possibly cancer. T cells, also called T lymphocytes, are special white blood cells that can kill other cells, including cells infected with viruses and tumor cells. Both antibodies and T cells have been used to treat patients with cancers. Investigators have found from previous research that they can put a new gene into T cells that will make them recognize cancer cells and kill them. In a previous clinical trial, investigators made artificial genes called a chimeric antigen receptors (CAR), from an antibody called 14g2a that recognizes GD2, a molecule found on almost all neuroblastoma cells (GD2-CAR). Investigators put these genes into the patients’ own T cells and gave them back to patients that had neuroblastoma.
NKT cells are another special subgroup of white blood cells that can specifically go into tumor tissue of neuroblastoma. Inside the tumor, there are other white blood cells called macrophages which help the cancer cells to grow and recover from injury. NKT cells can specifically kill these macrophages and slow the tumor growth.
We will expand NKT cells and add GD2-specific chimeric antigen receptors to the cells. We think these cells might be better able to attack NB since they also work by destroying the macrophages that allows the tumor to grow. The chimeric antigen receptor will also contain a gene segment to make the NKT cells last longer. This gene segment is called CD28. In addition, to further improve the antitumor activity of the GINAKIT cells we added another gene expressing a molecule called Interleukin -15 (IL-15). The combination of these 3 components showed the most antitumor activity by CAR expressing NKT cells and improved these cells’ survival in animal models.
GD2-CAR expressing NKTs have not been tested in patients so far. The purpose of this study is to find the largest effective and safe dose of GD2-CAR NKT cells (GINAKIT cells), to evaluate their effect on the tumor and how long they can be detected in the patient’s blood and what affect they have on the patient’s neuroblastoma.