Expression and functional characterization of CD33 transcript variants in human acute myeloid leukemia.
ABSTRACT: With the demonstration of improved survival of some acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with the CD33 antibody-drug conjugate, gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), CD33 has been validated as a target for antigen-specific immunotherapy. Since previous studies identified a CD33 splice variant missing exon 2 (CD33?E2) and, consequently, the immune-dominant membrane-distal V-set domain, we investigated the expression and functional characteristics of CD33 transcript variants in AML. In primary AML specimens, we not only found full-length CD33 (CD33FL) and CD33?E2 but also corresponding variants containing an alternate exon 7 predicted to encode a CD33 protein lacking most of the intracellular domain (CD33E7a and, not previously described, CD33?E2,E7a) in almost all cases. In acute leukemia cell sublines engineered to express individual CD33 splice variants, all splice variants had endocytic properties. CD33FL and CD33E7a mediated similar degrees of GO cytotoxicity, whereas CD33?E2 and CD33?E2,E7a could not serve as target for GO. Co-expression of CD33?E2 did not interfere with CD33FL endocytosis and did not impact CD33FL-mediated GO cytotoxicity. Together, our findings document a greater-than-previously thought complexity of CD33 expression in human AML. They identify CD33 variants that lack exon 2 and are not recognized by current CD33-directed therapeutics as potential target for future unconjugated or conjugated antibodies.
Project description:Targeting CD33 or CD45 is currently exploited for immunotherapy of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), an immunoconjugate of an anti-CD33 antibody that facilitates cellular uptake of a toxic calicheamicin-gamma(1) derivative, induces complete remissions in a subset of patients with AML. We herein tested whether simultaneous targeting of CD45 could improve GO cytotoxicity against AML cell lines and primary AML cells. We found that the anti-CD45 antibody, BC8, dose-dependently increased cytotoxicity induced by GO, and, to a lesser degree, free calicheamicin-gamma(1). BC8 promoted CD33 endocytosis, suggesting that its effect on GO cytotoxicity may be, at least partly, due to increased uptake and intracellular GO availability. Finally, compared with either agent alone, BC8 combined with GO resulted in marked tumor growth inhibition and superior survival rates of mice bearing human AML xenografts. These data suggest that further study of this antibody combination for clinical use in AML is warranted.
Project description:Antibodies have created high expectations for effective yet tolerated therapeutics in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Hitherto the most exploited target is CD33, a myeloid differentiation antigen found on AML blasts in most patients and, perhaps, leukemic stem cells in some. Treatment efforts have focused on conjugated antibodies, particularly gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), an anti-CD33 antibody carrying a toxic calicheamicin-g 1 derivative that, after intracellular hydrolytic release, induces DNA strand breaks, apoptosis, and cell death. Serving as paradigm for this strategy, GO was the first anti-cancer immunoconjugate to obtain regulatory approval in the U.S. While efficacious as monotherapy in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), GO alone induces remissions in less than 25-35% of non-APL AML patients. However, emerging data from well controlled trials now indicate that GO improves survival for many non-APL AML patients, supporting the conclusion that CD33 is a clinically relevant target for some disease subsets. It is thus unfortunate that GO has become unavailable in many parts of the world, and the drug's usefulness should be reconsidered and selected patients granted access to this immunoconjugate.
Project description:Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO, Mylotarg®) consists of a humanized CD33-targeted antibody-drug conjugated to a calicheamicin derivative. Growing evidence of GO efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), demonstrated by improved outcomes in CD33-positive AML patients across phase I to III clinical trials, led to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on 1 September 2017 in CD33-positive AML patients aged 2 years and older. Discrepancies in GO recipients outcome have raised significant efforts to characterize biomarkers predictive of GO response and have refined the subset of patients that may strongly benefit from GO. Among them, CD33 expression levels, favorable cytogenetics (t(8;21), inv(16)/t(16;16), t(15;17)) and molecular alterations, such as NPM1, FLT3-internal tandem duplications and other signaling mutations, represent well-known candidates. Additionally, in depth analyses including minimal residual disease monitoring, stemness expression (LSC17 score), mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms in GO pathway genes (CD33, ABCB1) and molecular-derived scores, such as the recently set up CD33_PGx6_Score, represent promising markers to enhance GO response prediction and improve patient management.
Project description:Purpose Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), a CD33-targeted immunoconjugate, is a re-emerging therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). CD33 single nucleotide polymorphism rs12459419 C>T in the splice enhancer region regulates the expression of an alternatively spliced CD33 isoform lacking exon2 (D2-CD33), thus eliminating the CD33 IgV domain, which is the antibody-binding site for GO, as well as diagnostic immunophenotypic panels. We aimed to determine the impact of the genotype of this splicing polymorphism in patients with AML treated with GO-containing chemotherapy. Patients and Methods CD33 splicing single nucleotide polymorphism was evaluated in newly diagnosed patients with AML randomly assigned to receive standard five-course chemotherapy alone (No-GO arm, n = 408) or chemotherapy with the addition of two doses of GO once during induction and once during intensification (GO arm, n = 408) as per the Children's Oncology Group AAML0531 trial. Results The rs12459419 genotype was CC in 415 patients (51%), CT in 316 patients (39%), and TT in 85 patients (10%), with a minor allele frequency of 30%. The T allele was significantly associated with higher levels of D2-CD33 transcript ( P < 1.0E-6) and with lower diagnostic leukemic cell surface CD33 intensity ( P < 1.0E-6). Patients with the CC genotype had significantly lower relapse risk in the GO arm than in the No-GO arm (26% v 49%; P < .001). However, in patients with the CT or TT genotype, exposure to GO did not influence relapse risk (39% v 40%; P = .85). Disease-free survival was higher in patients with the CC genotype in the GO arm than in the No-GO arm (65% v 46%, respectively; P = .004), but this benefit of GO addition was not seen in patients with the CT or TT genotype. Conclusion Our results suggest that patients with the CC genotype for rs12459419 have a substantial response to GO, making this a potential biomarker for the selection of patients with a likelihood of significant response to GO.
Project description:On September 2, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO; Mylotarg; Pfizer, New York City, NY) for treatment of relapsed or refractory (R/R) CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in patients 2 years of age and older. GO is a CD33-directed antibody drug conjugate linked to the cytotoxic antibiotic calicheamicin. It originally received accelerated approval for treatment of older patients with relapsed CD33-positive AML in 2000, but it was withdrawn from the market in 2010 when the confirmatory trial failed to demonstrate clinical benefit among safety concerns, such as a higher rate of induction fatalities on the GO combination arm compared with chemotherapy alone. In addition, GO was associated with hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), which has substantial morbidity and mortality. Pharmacokinetic analyses suggested a lower maximum concentration of GO would result in less VOD without affecting target saturation or efficacy. A meta-analysis across dose schedules of GO in patients with R/R AML showed that a lower-dose "fractionated" schedule of 3 mg/m2 days 1, 4, and 7 was associated with less early mortality, hemorrhage, and VOD, without an apparent decrease in complete remission (CR) rate. MyloFrance 1 was a single-arm study evaluating response rates in patients with relapsed CD33-positive AML treated with the lower-dose fractionated GO regimen. The CR rate was 26% (95% confidence interval 16%-40%). Common adverse reactions were fever, infections, nausea, vomiting, constipation, bleeding, increased liver enzymes, and mucositis. There were no cases of VOD. These results supported the approval of GO as monotherapy for R/R CD33-positive AML using the lower-dose fractionated regimen. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) 3 mg/m2 days 1, 4, and 7 is an active regimen for induction of remission when used to treat patients with relapsed or refractory CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia without curative intent. The risks of hepatic veno-occlusive disease and early mortality with this regimen appear to be lower than reported previously for GO 9 mg/m2 days 1 and 15. The data were not sufficient to enable conclusions about the safety of GO in children younger than 2 years of age.
Project description:Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), an immunoconjugate between an anti-CD33 antibody and a calicheamicin-?(1) derivative, induces remissions and improves survival in a subset of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). As the mechanisms underlying GO and calicheamicin-?(1) resistance are incompletely understood, we herein used flow cytometry-based single cell network profiling (SCNP) assays to study cellular responses of primary human AML cells to GO. Our data indicate that the extent of DNA damage is quantitatively impacted by CD33 expression and drug efflux activity. However, although DNA damage is required for GO-induced cytotoxicity, it is not sufficient for effective cell kill, suggesting that downstream anti-apoptotic pathways may function as relevant resistance mechanisms. Supporting this notion, we found activated PI3K/AKT signaling to be associated with GO resistance in vitro in primary AML cells. Consistently, the investigational AKT inhibitor MK-2206 significantly sensitized various human AML cells to GO or free calicheamicin-?(1) with particularly pronounced effects in otherwise GO or free calicheamicin-?(1)-resistant cells. Likewise, MK-2206 also sensitized primary AML cells to calicheamicin-?(1). Together, our findings illustrate the capacity of SCNP assays to discover chemotherapy-related biological pathways and signaling networks relevant to GO-induced genotoxic stress. The identification of AKT signaling as being associated with GO resistance in vitro may provide a novel approach to improve the in vivo efficacy of GO/calicheamicin-?(1) and, by extrapolation, other DNA damage-based therapeutics.
Project description:Targeted agents are increasingly used for the therapy of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) is the first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) approved for induction therapy of AML. When used in fractionated doses, GO combined with the conventional cytarabine/anthracycline-based induction chemotherapy significantly improves the outcome of previously untreated AML patients. Single-agent GO is effective and safe for AML patient ineligible for intensive chemotherapy. Multiple combination regimens incorporating GO have also been recommended as potential alternative options. In addition, several novel ADCs targeting CD33, CD123 and CLL-1 are currently undergoing preclinical or early clinical investigations. In this review, we summarized the efficacy and limitations of GO as well as novel ADCs for adult AML patients.
Project description:In September 2017, the US FDA announced re-approval of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), a CD33-targeting immunoconjugate, for treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This is a very significant step toward defining new treatment regimens in AML, as the treatment has essentially stayed unchanged with the '7 + 3 induction regimen' (7 days cytarabine and 3 days of anthracycline) since 1973. GO is the first antibody-drug conjugate to receive FDA approval for treating cancer. This review article discusses the challenges faced and lessons learned during the journey of GO for AML treatment. Selected trials that have made significant contribution in our understanding of the most efficacious and safe use of GO for treating AML patients as well as factors influencing GO response are highlighted in this article.
Project description:PURPOSE:The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced reapproval of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) for treatment of CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), thus opening up opportunities to develop strategies for effective use of GO. In light of our recent report showing prognostic significance of CD33 splicing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the objective of this study was to comprehensively evaluate CD33 SNPs for accurate prediction of patients with AML who are more or less likely to respond to GO. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We investigated the five new CD33 SNPs (rs2455069, rs35112940, rs61736475, rs1803254, and rs201074739) for association with CD33 leukemic cell surface expression and clinical response in pediatric patients with AML enrolled in the Children's Oncology Group AAML0531 trial. We further developed a composite CD33 pharmacogenetics (PGx) score using six CD33 SNPs (CD33_PGx6_score) for association with clinical outcome. RESULTS:Four CD33 SNPs were associated with cell surface CD33 levels and clinical response in the GO versus no-GO arms. Therefore, the CD33_PGx6_score was built using directional genotype scores for the previously reported splicing SNP and five new SNPs. Patients with a CD33_PGx6_score of 0 or higher had higher CD33 expression levels compared with patients with a score of less than 0 (P < .001). In addition, patients with a score of 0 or higher demonstrated an improved disease-free survival in the GO versus no-GO arms (62.5% ± 7.8% v 46.8% ± 8.3%, respectively; P = .008) and a reduced risk of relapse (28.3% ± 7.2% v 49.9% ± 8.4%, respectively; P < .001). No improvement from GO was observed in patients with a CD33-PGx6_score of less than 0. Consistent results were observed across the risk groups. CONCLUSION:In this study, we report a composite CD33_PGx6_score using directional genotype scores of CD33 SNPs. Once validated, our findings hold promise for use of the CD33_PGx6_score to guide efficient use of GO in patients with AML. In addition, because the CD33_PGx6_score considers SNPs with varying abundance in different ethnic groups, it has potential for global application.
Project description:CD33 is expressed on the majority of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) leukemic blasts and is the target for gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), a toxin-conjugated anti-CD33 mAb. In the present study, we quantified the CD33 mean fluorescent intensity of leukemic blasts prospectively in 619 de novo pediatric AML patients enrolled in Children's Oncology Group GO-containing clinical trials and determined its correlation with disease characteristics and clinical outcome. CD33 expression varied more than 2-log fold; a median mean fluorescent intensity of 129 (range, 3-1550.07) was observed. Patients were divided into 4 quartiles, quartiles 1-4 (Q1-4) based on expression and disease characteristics and clinical response defined across quartiles. High CD33 expression was associated with high-risk FLT3/ITD mutations (P < .001) and was inversely associated with low-risk disease (P < .001). Complete remission (CR) rates were similar, but patients in Q4 had significantly lower overall survival (57% ± 16% vs 77% ± 7%, P = .002) and disease-free survival from CR (44% ± 16% vs 62% ± 8%, P = .022). In a multivariate model, high CD33 expression remained a significant predictor of overall survival (P = .011) and disease-free survival (P = .038) from CR. Our findings suggest that CD33 expression is heterogeneous within de novo pediatric AML. High expression is associated with adverse disease features and is an independent predictor of inferior outcome. The correlation between CD33 expression and GO response is under investigation. These studies are registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00070174 and NCT00372593.