Regional Delivery of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cells for Cancer Therapy.
ABSTRACT: Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells are T-cells with recombinant receptors targeted to tumor antigens. CAR-T cell therapy has emerged as a mode of immunotherapy and is now being extensively explored in hematologic cancer. In contrast, CAR-T cell use in solid tumors has been hampered by multiple obstacles. Several approaches have been taken to circumvent these obstacles, including the regional delivery of CAR-T cells. Regional CAR-T cell delivery can theoretically compensate for poor T-cell trafficking and tumor antigen specificity while avoiding systemic toxicity associated with intravenous delivery. We reviewed completed clinical trials for the treatment of glioblastoma and metastatic colorectal cancer and examined the data in these studies for safety, efficacy, and potential advantages that regional delivery may confer over systemic delivery. Our appraisal of the available literature revealed that regional delivery of CAR-T cells in both glioblastoma and hepatic colorectal metastases was generally well tolerated and efficacious in select instances. We propose that the regional delivery of CAR-T cells is an area of potential growth in the solid tumor immunotherapy, and look towards future clinical trials in head and neck cancer, mesothelioma, and peritoneal carcinomatosis as the use of this technique expands.
Project description:Metastatic spread of colorectal cancer (CRC) to the peritoneal cavity is common and difficult to treat, with many patients dying from malignant bowel obstruction. Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) immunotherapy has shown great promise, and we previously reported murine and phase I clinical studies on regional intrahepatic CAR-T infusion for CRC liver metastases. We are now studying intraperitoneal (IP) delivery of CAR-Ts for peritoneal carcinomatosis. Regional IP infusion of CAR-T resulted in superior protection against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA+) peritoneal tumors, when compared with systemically infused CAR-Ts. IP CAR-Ts also provided prolonged protection against IP tumor re-challenges and demonstrated an increase in effector memory phenotype over time. IP CAR-Ts provided protection against tumor growth at distant subcutaneous (SC) sites in association with increases in serum IFN? levels. Given the challenges posed by immunoinhibitory pathways in solid tumors, we combined IP CAR-T treatment with suppressor cell targeting. High frequencies of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and regulatory T cells (Treg) were found within the IP tumors, with MDSC expressing high levels of immunosuppressive PD-L1. Combinatorial IP CAR-T treatment with depleting antibodies against MDSC and Treg further improved efficacy against peritoneal metastases. Our data support further development of combinatorial IP CAR-T immunotherapy for peritoneal malignancies.
Project description:Malignant brain tumors, including glioblastoma, represent some of the most difficult to treat of solid tumors. Nevertheless, recent progress in immunotherapy, across a broad range of tumor types, provides hope that immunological approaches will have the potential to improve outcomes for patients with brain tumors. Chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cells, a promising immunotherapeutic modality, utilizes the tumor targeting specificity of any antibody or receptor ligand to redirect the cytolytic potency of T cells. The remarkable clinical response rates of CD19-targeted CAR T cells and early clinical experiences in glioblastoma demonstrating safety and evidence for disease modifying activity support the potential of further advancements ultimately providing clinical benefit for patients. The brain, however, is an immune specialized organ presenting unique and specific challenges to immune-based therapies. Remaining barriers to be overcome for achieving effective CAR T cell therapy in the central nervous system (CNS) include tumor antigenic heterogeneity, an immune-suppressive microenvironment, unique properties of the CNS that limit T cell entry, and risks of immune-based toxicities in this highly sensitive organ. This review will summarize preclinical and clinical data for CAR T cell immunotherapy in glioblastoma and other malignant brain tumors, including present obstacles to advancement.
Project description:Novel engineered T cells containing chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T cells) that combine the benefits of antigen recognition and T cell response have been developed, and their effect in the anti-tumor immunotherapy of patients with relapsed/refractory leukemia has been dramatic. Thus, CAR-T cell immunotherapy is rapidly emerging as a new therapy. However, it has limitations that prevent consistency in therapeutic effects in solid tumors, which accounts for over 90% of all cancer patients. Here, we review the literature regarding various obstacles to CAR-T cell immunotherapy for solid tumors, including those that cause CAR-T cell dysfunction in the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, such as reactive oxygen species, pH, O2, immunosuppressive cells, cytokines, and metabolites, as well as those that impair cell trafficking into the tumor microenvironment. Next-generation CAR-T cell therapy is currently undergoing clinical trials to overcome these challenges. Therefore, novel approaches to address the challenges faced by CAR-T cell immunotherapy in solid tumors are also discussed here.
Project description:Adoptive cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells aims to redirect the patient's own immune system to selectively attack cancer cells. To do so, CAR T cells are endowed with specific antigen recognition moieties fused to signaling and costimulatory domains. While this approach has shown great success for the treatment of B cell malignancies, response rates among patients with solid cancers are less favorable. The major challenges for CAR T cell immunotherapy in solid cancers are the identification of unique tumor target antigens, as well as improving CAR T cell trafficking to and expansion at the tumor site. This review focuses on combinatorial antigen targeting, regional delivery and approaches to improve CAR T cell persistence in the face of a hostile tumor microenvironment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step in converting tryptophan to kynurenine. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are T cells with recombinant receptors targeting tumor-associated antigens. The Food and Drug Administration has approved CAR T cells that target CD19 for treatment of advanced B cell leukemia and lymphoma. However, CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors has been hampered by multiple obstacles. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that combinatorial immune checkpoint blockade and IDO1 inhibition provide durable therapeutic efficacy against cancer. Yet, the combination of IDO1 inhibition and CAR T has not been attempted. METHODS:We analyze IDO1 downregulation by miR-153 in colon cancer cells and the association of IDO1 and miR-153 expression with colorectal patient survival. We generate CAR T cells targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor variant III and measure their tumor killing effects against colon cancer cells with or without miR-153 overexpression by killing assays and in xenografts. RESULTS:IDO1 is highly expressed in colorectal tumors and is inversely associated with patient survival. miR-153 directly inhibits IDO1 expression by targeting its 3' untranslated region in colon cancer cells; yet, miR-153 overexpression does not affect cancer cell survival, apoptosis, and colony formation. When colon cancer cells are targeted by CAR T cells, miR-153 overexpression within tumor cells significantly enhances T cell killing in vitro and suppresses xenograft tumor growth in mice. CONCLUSIONS:These findings indicate that miR-153 inhibits IDO1 expression in colon cancer cells and is a tumor-suppressive miRNA that enhances CAR T cell immunotherapy. This study supports the combinatorial use of IDO1 inhibitors and CAR T cells in treating solid tumors.
Project description:Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy for the treatment CD19-positive B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. While CAR-T has achieved remarkable success in the treatment of hematopoietic malignancies, whether it can benefit solid tumor patients to the same extent is still uncertain. Even though hundreds of clinical trials are undergoing exploring a variety of tumor-associated antigens (TAA), no such antigen with comparable properties like CD19 has yet been identified regarding solid tumors CAR-T immunotherapy. Inefficient T cell trafficking, immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, suboptimal antigen recognition specificity, and lack of safety control are currently considered as the main obstacles in solid tumor CAR-T therapy. Here, we reviewed the solid tumor CAR-T clinical trials, emphasizing the studies with published results. We further discussed the challenges that CAR-T is facing for solid tumor treatment and proposed potential strategies to improve the efficacy of CAR-T as promising immunotherapy.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is an innovative form of immunotherapy wherein autologous T cells are genetically modified to express chimeric receptors encoding an antigen-specific single-chain variable fragment and various costimulatory molecules. Upon administration, these modified T cells traffic to, and recognize, cancer cells in an HLA-independent manner. CAR T-cell therapy has shown remarkable success in the treatment of CD-19-expressing B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia. However, clinical gains to the same magnitude have not been reported in solid tumors. Several known obstacles to CAR T-cell therapy for solid tumors include target antigen identification, effective trafficking to the tumor, robust activation, proliferation, and in vivo cytotoxicity. Beyond these T-cell intrinsic properties, a complex and dynamic immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in solid tumors hinders T-cell efficacy. Notable advancements in CAR design to include multiple costimulatory molecules, ligands, and soluble cytokines have shown promise in preclinical models, and some of these are currently in early-phase clinical trials. In this review, we discuss selected solid tumor malignancies and relevant preclinical data and highlight clinical trial results that are available. Furthermore, we outline some obstacles to CAR T-cell therapy for each tumor and propose strategies to overcome some of these limitations.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T (CAR-T) cell transfer has made great success in hematological malignancies, but only shown a limited effect on solid tumors. One of the major hurdles is the poor persistence of infused cells derived from <i>ex vivo</i> activation/expansion and repeated antigen encounter after re-infusion. Bcl-xL has been demonstrated to play an important role on normal T cell survival and function as well as genetically engineered cells. In the current study, we developed a retroviral CAR construct containing a second-generation carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-targeting CAR with the Bcl-xL gene and tested the anti-CEA CAR-T cell immunotherapy for colorectal cancer. <i>In vitro</i>, the anti-CEA CAR-T cells destroyed CEA-expressing tumor cells and sustained survival. <i>In vivo</i>, adoptive cell transfer of anti-CEA CAR-T cells significantly enhanced the ability of the CAR-T cells to accumulate in tumor tissues, suppress tumor growth and increase the overall survival rate of tumor-bearing mice in a murine model of colorectal cancer. These results demonstrate a novel CAR-T platform that has the ability to increase the persistence of CAR-T cells in solid tumors through exogenous expression of persistent genes. The data provide a potentially novel approach to augment CAR-T immunotherapy for solid tumors.
Project description:The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is an artificial molecule engineered to induce cytolytic T cell reactions in tumors. Generally, this molecule combines an extracellular single-chain variable fragment (scFv) able to recognize tumor-associated epitopes together with the intracellular signaling domains that are required for T cell activation. When expressed by T cells, the CAR enables the recognition and subsequent destruction of cancer cells expressing the complementary antigen on their surface. Although the clinical application for CAR T cells is currently limited to some hematological malignancies, researchers are trying to develop CAR T cell-based therapies for the treatment of solid tumors. However, while in the case of CD19, or other targets restricted to the hematopoietic compartment, the toxicity is limited and manageable, the scarcity of specific antigens expressed by solid tumors and not by healthy cells from vital organs makes the clinical development of CAR T cells in this context particularly challenging. Here we summarize relevant research and clinical trials conducted to redirect CAR T cells to surface antigens in solid tumors and cancer stem cells with a focus on colorectal cancer and glioblastoma. Finally, we will discuss current knowledge of altered glycosylation of CSCs and cancer cells and how these novel epitopes may help to target CAR T cell-based immunotherapy in the future.