Targeting of Aberrant ?v?6 Integrin Expression in Solid Tumors Using Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Engineered T Cells.
ABSTRACT: Expression of the ?v?6 integrin is upregulated in several solid tumors. In contrast, physiologic expression of this epithelial-specific integrin is restricted to development and epithelial re-modeling. Here, we describe, for the first time, the development of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that couples the recognition of this integrin to the delivery of potent therapeutic activity in a diverse repertoire of solid tumor models. Highly selective targeting ?v?6 was achieved using a foot and mouth disease virus-derived A20 peptide, coupled to a fused CD28+CD3 endodomain. To achieve selective expansion of CAR T cells ex vivo, an IL-4-responsive fusion gene (4??) was co-expressed, which delivers a selective mitogenic signal to engineered T cells only. In vivo efficacy was demonstrated in mice with established ovarian, breast, and pancreatic tumor xenografts, all of which express ?v?6 at intermediate to high levels. SCID beige mice were used for these studies because they are susceptible to cytokine release syndrome, unlike more immune-compromised strains. Nonetheless, although the CAR also engages mouse ?v?6, mild and reversible toxicity was only observed when supra-therapeutic doses of CAR T cells were administered parenterally. These data support the clinical evaluation of ?v?6 re-targeted CAR T cell immunotherapy in solid tumors that express this integrin.
Project description:Adoptive T-cell transfer showed promising efficacy in recent trials raising interest in T cells with redirected specificity against tumors. T cells were engineered with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) with predefined binding and CD3ζ signaling to initiate T-cell activation. CD28 costimulation provided by a CD28-CD3ζ signaling CAR moreover improved T cell activation and persistence; however, it failed to meet the expectations with respect to mounting attacks against solid tumors infiltrated with regulatory T (Treg) cells. We revealed that a CD28 CAR-redirected T-cell attack is accompanied by higher numbers of Treg cells infiltrating the tumor and is less efficient against cancer cells in presence of Treg cells than a CD3ζ CAR T-cell attack. Deletion of the lck binding moiety in the CD28 CAR endodomain, however, improved redirected anti-tumor activity in presence of Treg cells without impairing interferon-γ (IFN-γ) secretion, proliferation, and cytolysis. CD28 modification abrogated interleukin-2 (IL-2) induction upon CAR engagement which in turn is no longer available to sustain Treg cell persistence. CARs with the modified CD28 endodomain thereby expedite the implementation of adoptive T-cell therapy in patients with a variety of cancer types that are heavily infiltrated by Treg cells.
Project description:Targeted T cell immunotherapies using engineered T lymphocytes expressing tumor-directed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are designed to benefit patients with cancer. Although incorporation of costimulatory endodomains within these CARs increases the proliferation of CAR-redirected T lymphocytes, it has proven difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the specific effects of costimulatory endodomains on the expansion, persistence, and antitumor effectiveness of CAR-redirected T cells in human subjects, owing to the lack of side-by-side comparisons with T cells bearing only a single signaling domain. We therefore designed a study that allowed us to directly measure the consequences of adding a costimulatory endodomain to CAR-redirected T cells. Patients with B cell lymphomas were simultaneously infused with 2 autologous T cell products expressing CARs with the same specificity for the CD19 antigen, present on most B cell malignancies. One CAR encoded both the costimulatory CD28 and the ?-endodomains, while the other encoded only the ?-endodomain. CAR+ T cells containing the CD28 endodomain showed strikingly enhanced expansion and persistence compared with CAR+ T cells lacking this endodomain. These results demonstrate the superiority of CARs with dual signal domains and confirm a method of comparing CAR-modified T cells within individual patients, thereby avoiding patient-to-patient variability and accelerating the development of optimal T cell immunotherapies.
Project description:Junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs) are endothelial and epithelial adhesion molecules involved in the recruitment of circulating leukocytes to inflammatory sites. We show here that JAM-L, a protein related to the JAM family, is restricted to leukocytes and promotes their adhesion to endothelial cells. Cis dimerization of JAM-L is required to engage in heterophilic interactions with its cognate counter-receptor CAR (coxsackie and adenovirus receptor). Interestingly, JAM-L expressed on neutrophils binds CAR independently of integrin activation. However, on resting monocytes and T lymphocytes, which express the integrin VLA-4, JAM-L molecules engage in complexes with VLA-4 and mainly accumulate in their monomeric form. Integrin activation is required for the dissociation of JAM-L-VLA-4 complexes and the accumulation of functional JAM-L dimers, which indicates that the leukocyte integrin VLA-4 controls JAM-L function in cis by controlling its dimerization state. This provides a mechanism through which VLA-4 and JAM-L functions are coordinately regulated, allowing JAM-L to strengthen integrin-dependent adhesion of leukocytes to endothelial cells.
Project description:Because of its high expression on various types of tumors and its restricted distribution in normal tissues, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan-4 (CSPG4) represents an attractive target for the antibody-based therapy of several solid tumors. We tested whether T cells transduced with a CSPG4-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) inhibited the growth of CSPG4-expressing tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo.We first independently validated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) the expression of CSPG4 in an extensive panel of tumor arrays and normal tissues as well as queried public gene expression profiling datasets of human tumors. We constructed a second-generation CSPG4-specific CAR also encoding the CD28 costimulatory endodomain (CAR.CSPG4). We then evaluated human T lymphocytes expressing this CAR for their ex vivo and in vivo antitumor activity against a broad panel of solid tumors.IHC showed that CSPG4 is highly expressed in melanoma, breast cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and mesothelioma. In addition, in silico analysis of microarray expression data identified other important potential tumors expressing this target, including glioblastoma, clear cell renal carcinoma, and sarcomas. T lymphocytes genetically modified with a CSPG4-CAR controlled tumor growth in vitro and in vivo in NSG mice engrafted with human melanoma, HNSCC, and breast carcinoma cell lines.CAR.CSPG4-redirected T cells should provide an effective treatment modality for a variety of solid tumors.
Project description:Encouraging results from recent clinical trials are revitalizing the field of oncolytic virotherapies. Human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-C5/Ad5) is a common vector for its ease of manipulation, high production titers and capacity to transduce multiple cell types. However, effective clinical applications are hindered by poor tumor-selectivity and vector neutralization. We generated Ad5/kn48 by pseudotyping Ad5 with the fiber knob domain from the less seroprevalent HAdV-D48 (Ad48). The vector was shown to utilize coxsackie and adenovirus receptor (CAR) but not CD46 for cell entry. A 20-amino acid peptide NAVPNLRGDLQVLAQKVART (A20) was inserted into the Ad5. Luc HI loop (Ad5.HI.A20) and Ad5/kn48 DG loop (Ad5/kn48.DG.A20) to target a prognostic cancer cell marker, αvβ6 integrin. Relative to the Ad5.Luc parent vector, Ad5.HI.A20, Ad5.KO1.HI.A20 (KO1, ablated CAR-binding) and Ad5/kn48.DG.A20 showed ~ 160-, 270- and 180-fold increased transduction in BT-20 breast carcinoma cells (αvβ6high). Primary human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cultures derived from clinical ascites provided a useful ex vivo model for intraperitoneal virotherapy. Ad5.HI.A20, Ad5.KO1.HI.A20 and Ad5/kn48.DG.A20 transduction was ~ 70-, 60- and 16-fold increased relative to Ad5.Luc in EOC cells (αvβ6high), respectively. A20 vectors transduced EOC cells at up to ~ 950-fold higher efficiency in the presence of neutralizing ovarian ascites, as compared to Ad5.Luc. Efficient transduction and enhanced cancer-selectivity via a non-native αvβ6-mediated route was demonstrated, even in the presence of pre-existing anti-Ad5 immunity. Consequently, αvβ6-targeted Ad vectors may represent a promising platform for local intraperitoneal treatment of ovarian cancer metastases.
Project description:There has been interest in generating T cells expressing chimeric artificial receptors (CARs) targeting CD19/CD20 antigens to treat B-cell lymphomas. If successful, however, this approach would likely impair humoral immunity because T cells may persist long-term. Most low-grade lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells express monoclonal immunoglobulins carrying either kappa or lambda light chains. We, therefore, explored whether T lymphocytes could be genetically modified to target the tumor-associated light chain, sparing B lymphocytes expressing the reciprocal light chain, and consequently reduce impairment of humoral immunity. We found that T lymphocytes expressing the anti-kappa light chain CAR showed cytotoxic activity against Igkappa(+) tumor cell lines and B-CLL cells both in vitro and in vivo. We also found that the incorporation of the CD28 endodomain within the CAR enhanced the in vitro and in vivo expansion of transgenic T cells after tumor-associated antigen stimulation. Free Igkappa(+) did not compromise the ability of redirected T lymphocytes to eliminate Igkappa(+) tumors because these free immunoglobulins served to sustain proliferation of CAR-CD28 transgenic T cells. Thus, adoptive transfer of T lymphocytes targeting the appropriate light chain could be a useful immunotherapy approach to treat B-lymphocyte malignancies that clonally express immunoglobulin without entirely compromising humoral immunity.
Project description:B7-H3 is actively being explored as an immunotherapy target for pediatric patients with solid tumors using monoclonal antibodies or T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). B7-H3-CARs containing a 41BB costimulatory domain are currently favored by several groups based on preclinical studies. In this study, we initially performed a detailed analysis of T cells expressing B7-H3-CARs with different hinge/transmembrane (CD8? versus CD28) and CD28 or 41BB costimulatory domains (CD8?/CD28, CD8?/41BB, CD28/CD28, CD28/41BB). Only subtle differences in effector function were observed between CAR T cell populations in vitro. However, CD8?/CD28-CAR T cells consistently outperformed other CAR T cell populations in three animal models, resulting in a significant survival advantage. We next explored whether adding 41BB signaling to CD8?/CD28-CAR T cells would further enhance effector function. Surprisingly, incorporating 41BB signaling into the CAR endodomain had detrimental effects, while expressing 41BBL on the surface of CD8?/CD28-CAR T cells enhanced their ability to kill tumor cells in repeat stimulation assays. Furthermore, 41BBL expression enhanced CD8?/CD28-CAR T cell expansion in vivo and improved antitumor activity in one of four evaluated models. Thus, our study highlights the intricate interplay between CAR hinge/transmembrane and costimulatory domains. Based on our study, we selected CD8?/CD28-CAR T cells expressing 41BBL for early phase clinical testing.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy entails the genetic engineering of a patient's T-cells to express membrane spanning fusion receptors with defined specificities for tumor-associated antigens. These CARs are capable of eliciting robust T-cell activation to initiate killing of the target tumor cells. This therapeutic approach has produced unprecedented clinical outcomes in the treatment of "liquid" hematologic cancers, but to date has not produced comparable responses in targeting solid malignancies. Advances in our understanding of the immunobiology of solid tumors have highlighted several hurdles which currently hinder the efficacy of this therapy. These barriers include the insufficient accumulation of CAR T-cells in the tumor due to poor trafficking or physical exclusion and the exposure of infiltrating CAR T-cells to a panoply of immune suppressive checkpoint molecules, cytokines, and metabolic stresses that are not conducive to efficient immune reactions and can thereby render these cells anergic, exhausted, or apoptotic. This mini-review summarizes these hurdles and describes some recent approaches and innovations to genetically re-engineer CAR T-cells to counter inhibitory influences found in the tumor microenvironment. Novel immunotherapy drug combinations to potentiate the activity of CAR T-cells are also discussed. As our understanding of the immune landscape of tumors improves and our repertoire of immunotherapeutic drugs expands, it is envisaged that the efficacy of CAR T-cells against solid tumors might be potentiated using combination therapies, which it is hoped may lead to meaningful improvements in clinical outcome for patients with refractory solid malignancies.
Project description:Adoptive transfer of T cells expressing a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is being evaluated in multiple clinical trials. Our current approach to adoptive immunotherapy is based on a second generation CAR (designated CD19RCD28) that signals through a CD28 and CD3-? endodomain. T cells are electroporated with DNA plasmids from the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon/transposase system to express this CAR. Stable integrants of genetically modified T cells can then be retrieved when co-cultured with designer artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC) in the presence of interleukin (IL)-2 and 21. Here, we reveal how the platform technologies of SB-mediated transposition and CAR-dependent propagation on aAPC were adapted for human application. Indeed, we have initiated clinical trials in patients with high-risk B-lineage malignancies undergoing autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). We describe the process to manufacture clinical grade CD19-specific T cells derived from healthy donors. Three validation runs were completed in compliance with current good manufacturing practice for Phase I/II trials demonstrating that by 28 days of co-culture on ?-irradiated aAPC ?10(10) T cells were produced of which >95% expressed CAR. These genetically modified and propagated T cells met all quality control testing and release criteria in support of infusion.
Project description:Engineering T-cells to express receptors specific for antigens present on tumour tissue is proving a highly effective treatment for some leukaemias. However, extending this to solid tumours requires antigens that can be safely and effectively targeted. TEM8, a marker overexpressed on the vasculature of some solid tumours, has been proposed as one such target. A recent report stated that T-cells engineered to express a TEM8-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), when injected into mouse models of triple negative breast cancer, are both safe and effective in controlling tumour growth. Here we report contrasting data with a panel of TEM8-specific CAR-T-cells including one generated from the same antibody used in the other study. We found that the CAR-T-cells demonstrated clear TEM8-specific cytotoxic and cytokine release responses in vitro, but when injected into healthy C57BL6 and NSG mice they rapidly and selectively disappeared from the circulation and in most cases caused rapid toxicity. Infusing CAR-T-cells into a TEM8-knockout mouse indicated that selective loss of cells from the circulation was due to targeting of TEM8 in healthy tissues. Histological analysis of mice treated with a TEM8-specific CAR revealed evidence of inflammation in the lung and spleen with large collections of infiltrating neutrophils. Therefore our data raise concerns over potential on-target off-tumour toxicity with CARs targeting TEM8 and these should be considered carefully before embarking upon clinical trials with such agents.