Study of Anti-CD33 Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Expressing T Cells (CD33CART) in Children and Young Adults With Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
0-9 years 10-17 years 18-26 years 27 years and older
Condition: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
This is a phase 1/2 trial which aims to determine the safety and feasibility of anti-CD33 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) expressing T cells (CD33CART) in children and adolescents/young adults (AYAs) with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The trial will be done in two phases: Phase 1 will determine the maximum tolerated dose of CD33CART cells using a 3+3 trial design. Phase 2 is an expansion phase designed to evaluate the rate of response to CD33CART.
Systematic preclinical evaluation of CD33-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia defines optimized construct design
Qin H, Yang L, Chukinas JA, Shah N, Tarun S, Pouzolles M, Chien CD, Niswander LM, Welch AR, Taylor N, Tasian SK, Fry TJ. Systematic preclinical evaluation of CD33-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia defines optimized construct design. J Immunother Cancer. 2021 Sep;9(9):e003149. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2021-003149. Erratum in: J Immunother Cancer. 2021 Oct;9(10): PMID: 34531250; PMCID: PMC8449984.
Background: Successful development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy for children and adults with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is highly desired given their poor clinical prognosis and frequent inability to achieve cure with conventional chemotherapy. Initial experiences with CD19 CAR T cell immunotherapy for patients with B-cell malignancies highlighted the critical impact of intracellular costimulatory domain selection (CD28 vs 4-1BB (CD137)) on CAR T cell expansion and in vivo persistence that may impact clinical outcomes. However, the impact of costimulatory domains on the efficacy of myeloid antigen-directed CAR T cell immunotherapy remains unknown.
Methods: In this preclinical study, we developed six CAR constructs targeting CD33, a highly expressed and validated AML target, comprised of one of three single-chain variable fragments with CD3ζ and either CD28 or 4-1BB costimulatory domains. We systematically compared the preclinical in vitro and in vivo efficacy of T cells lentivirally transduced with CD33 CAR constructs (CD33CARTs) against human AML.
Results: We observed potent in vitro cytokine production and cytotoxicity of CD33CARTs incubated with human CD33+ AML cell lines, as well as robust in vivo antileukemia activity in cell line and childhood AML patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. Gemtuzumab-based CD33CARTs were unexpectedly toxic in vivo in animal models despite observed in vitro anti-leukemia activity. CD28-based CD33CARTs consistently induced more robust inhibition of leukemia proliferation in AML cell line and PDX models than did 4-1BB-based CD33CARTs. A ‘best-in-class’ lintuzumab-CD28/CD3ζ CAR construct was thus selected for clinical translation.
Conclusions: CD33 is a critical antigen for potential immunotherapeutic targeting in patients with AML. Based on this rigorous preclinical evaluation, our validated clinical grade lintuzumab-CD28/CD3ζ CD33CART immunotherapy is now under evaluation in a first-in-child/first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial for children and adolescents/young adults with relapsed/refractory AML.