Project description:Continuous oncogenic processes that generate cancer require an on-going treatment approach to eliminate the transformed cells, and prevent their further development. Here, we studied the ability of T cells expressing a chimeric antibody-based receptor (CAR) to offer a therapeutic benefit for breast cancer induced by erbB-2. We tested CAR-modified T cells (T-bodies) specific to erbB-2 for their antitumor potential in a mouse model overexpressing a human erbB-2 transgene that develops mammary tumors. Comparing the antitumor reactivity of CAR-modified T cells under various therapeutic settings, either prophylactic, prior to tumor development, or therapeutically. We found that repeated administration of CAR-modified T cells is required to eliminate spontaneously developing mammary cancer. Systemic, as well as intratumoral administered CAR-modified T cells accumulated at tumor sites and eventually eliminated the malignant cells. Interestingly, within a few weeks after a single CAR T cells' administration, and rejection of primary lesion, tumors usually relapsed both in treated mammary gland and at remote sites; however, repeated injections of CAR-modified T cells were able to control the secondary tumors. Since spontaneous tumors can arise repeatedly, especially in the case of syndromes characterized by specific susceptibility to cancer, multiple administrations of CAR-modified T cells can serve to control relapsing disease.
Project description:T cell trafficking into tumors depends on a "match" between chemokine receptors on effector cells (e.g., CXCR3 and CCR5) and tumor-secreted chemokines. There is often a chemokine/chemokine receptor "mismatch", with tumors producing minute amounts of chemokines, resulting in inefficient targeting of effectors to tumors. We aimed to alter tumors to produce higher levels of CXCL11, a CXCR3 ligand, to attract more effector cells following immunotherapy. Mice bearing established subcutaneous tumors were studied. In our first approach, we used modified chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-transduced human T cells to deliver CXCL11 (CAR/CXCL11) into tumors. In our second approach, we intravenously (iv) administered a modified oncolytic vaccinia virus (VV) engineered to produce CXCL11 (VV.CXCL11). The effect of these treatments on T cell trafficking into the tumors and anti-tumor efficacy after subsequent CAR T cell injections or anti-tumor vaccines was determined. CAR/CXCL11 and VV.CXCL11 significantly increased CXCL11 protein levels within tumors. For CAR/CXCL11, injection of a subsequent dose of CAR T cells did not result in increased intra-tumoral trafficking, and appeared to decrease the function of the injected CAR T cells. In contrast, VV.CXCL11 increased the number of total and antigen-specific T cells within tumors after CAR T cell injection or vaccination and significantly enhanced anti-tumor efficacy. Both approaches were successful in increasing CXCL11 levels within the tumors; however, only the vaccinia approach was successful in recruiting T cells and augmenting anti-tumor efficacy. VV.CXCL11 should be considered as a potential approach to augment adoptive T cell transfer or vaccine immunotherapy.
Project description:An anti-glucocorticoid induced TNF receptor (GITR) agonistic antibody (Ab) induces an antitumor immunity with both stimulation of effector T cells and inhibition of regulatory T cell activity. To enhance GITR Ab-mediated tumor immunity, we focused on the intratumoral route, since a tumor-localized high concentration of Ab would confer activation of only tumor-infiltrating T cells. First, in a murine colon cancer model, we showed that the intratumoral delivery of Ab significantly increased the number of effector T cells infiltrated into tumors, and suppressed tumor growth more effectively than the intraperitoneal and intravenous injections did. Then, we found that the injection of Ab into the peritumoral area induced a systemic antitumor immunity at a similar level to the intratumoral injection. Therefore, we hypothesized that the transfer of locally administrated Ab into tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) plays an important role in inducing an effective immunity. In fact, intratumorally or peritumorally injected Ab was detected in TDLNs, and resection of Ab-injected TDLNs significantly reduced GITR Ab-mediated systemic tumor immunity. Intratumoral injection showed less number of auto-reactive T cells in the spleen than the intraperitoneal injection did. Intratumoral delivery of GITR Ab is a promising approach to induce an effective immunity compared to the systemic delivery.
Project description:T cells expressing anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) demonstrate impressive efficacy in the treatment of systemic B cell malignancies, including B cell lymphoma. However, their effect on primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is unknown. Additionally, the detailed cellular dynamics of CAR T cells during their antitumor reaction remain unclear, including their intratumoral infiltration depth, mobility, and persistence. Studying these processes in detail requires repeated intravital imaging of precisely defined tumor regions during weeks of tumor growth and regression. Here, we have combined a model of PCNSL with in vivo intracerebral 2-photon microscopy. Thereby, we were able to visualize intracranial PCNSL growth and therapeutic effects of CAR T cells longitudinally in the same animal over several weeks. Intravenous (i.v.) injection resulted in poor tumor infiltration of anti-CD19 CAR T cells and could not sufficiently control tumor growth. After intracerebral injection, however, anti-CD19 CAR T cells invaded deeply into the solid tumor, reduced tumor growth, and induced regression of PCNSL, which was associated with long-term survival. Intracerebral anti-CD19 CAR T cells entered the circulation and infiltrated distant, nondraining lymph nodes more efficiently than mock CAR T cells. After complete regression of tumors, anti-CD19 CAR T cells remained detectable intracranially and intravascularly for up to 159 d. Collectively, these results demonstrate the great potential of anti-CD19 CAR T cells for the treatment of PCNSL.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy targeting solid tumors has stagnated as a result of tumor heterogeneity, immunosuppressive microenvironments, and inadequate intratumoral T cell trafficking and persistence. Early (≤3 days) intratumoral presentation of CAR T cells post-treatment is a superior predictor of survival than peripheral persistence. Therefore, we have co-opted IL-8 release from tumors to enhance intratumoral T-cell trafficking through a CAR design for maximal antitumor activity in solid tumors. Here, we demonstrate that IL-8 receptor, CXCR1 or CXCR2, modified CARs markedly enhance migration and persistence of T cells in the tumor, which induce complete tumor regression and long-lasting immunologic memory in pre-clinical models of aggressive tumors such as glioblastoma, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Intratumoral delivery of immunotherapeutics represents a compelling solution to directly address local barriers to tumor immunity. However, we have previously shown that off-target delivery is a substantial problem during intratumoral injections; this can lead to diminished drug efficacy and systemic toxicities. We have identified three variables that influence intratumoral drug delivery: injection technique, drug formulation and tumor microenvironment. The purpose of this study was to characterize the impact of modifications in each variable on intratumoral drug delivery and immunotherapy efficacy.<h4>Methods</h4>Intratumoral injections were performed in a hybrid image-guided intervention suite with ultrasound, fluoroscopy and CT scanning capabilities in both rat and mouse syngeneic tumor models. Intratumoral drug distribution was quantified by CT volumetric imaging. The influence of varying needle design and hydrogel-based drug delivery on the immune response to a stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonist was evaluated using flow cytometry and single cell RNA sequencing. We also evaluated the influence of tumor stiffness on drug injection distribution.<h4>Results</h4>Variations in needle design, specifically with the use of a multiside hole needle, led to approximately threefold improvements in intratumoral drug deposition relative to conventional end-hole needles. Likewise, delivery of a STING agonist through a multiside hole needle led to significantly increased expression of type I interferon-associated genes and 'inflammatory' dendritic cell gene signatures relative to end-hole STING agonist delivery. A multidomain peptide-based hydrogel embedded with a STING agonist led to substantial improvements in intratumoral deposition; however, the hydrogel was noted to generate a strong immune response against itself within the target tumor. Evaluation of tumor stroma on intratumoral drug delivery revealed that there was a greater than twofold improvement in intratumoral distribution in soft tumors (B16 melanoma) compared with firm tumors (MC38 colorectal).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Injection technique, drug formulation and tumor stiffness play key roles in the accurate delivery of intratumoral immunotherapeutics.
Project description:Effective uptake of tumor cell-derived antigens by antigen-presenting cells is achieved pre-clinically by in situ labeling of tumor with ?-gal glycolipids that bind the naturally occurring anti-Gal antibody. We evaluated toxicity and feasibility of intratumoral injections of ?-gal glycolipids as an autologous tumor antigen-targeted immunotherapy in melanoma patients (pts). Pts with unresectable metastatic melanoma, at least one cutaneous, subcutaneous, or palpable lymph node metastasis, and serum anti-Gal titer ?1:50 were eligible for two intratumoral ?-gal glycolipid injections given 4 weeks apart (cohort I: 0.1 mg/injection; cohort II: 1.0 mg/injection; cohort III: 10 mg/injection). Monitoring included blood for clinical, autoimmune, and immunological analyses and core tumor biopsies. Treatment outcome was determined 8 weeks after the first ?-gal glycolipid injection. Nine pts received two intratumoral injections of ?-gal glycolipids (3 pts/cohort). Injection-site toxicity was mild, and no systemic toxicity or autoimmunity could be attributed to the therapy. Two pts had stable disease by RECIST lasting 8 and 7 months. Tumor nodule biopsies revealed minimal to no change in inflammatory infiltrate between pre- and post-treatment biopsies except for 1 pt (cohort III) with a post-treatment inflammatory infiltrate. Two and four weeks post-injection, treated nodules in 5 of 9 pts exhibited tumor cell necrosis without neutrophilic or lymphocytic inflammatory response. Non-treated tumor nodules in 2 of 4 evaluable pts also showed necrosis. Repeated intratumoral injections of ?-gal glycolipids are well tolerated, and tumor necrosis was seen in some tumor nodule biopsies after tumor injection with ?-gal glycolipids.
Project description:Localized expression of effector molecules can initiate antitumor responses through engagement of specific receptors on target cells in the tumor microenvironment. These locally induced responses may also have a systemic effect, clearing additional tumors throughout the body. In this study, to evoke systemic antitumor responses, we utilized charge-altering releasable transporters (CART) for local intratumoral delivery of mRNA coding for costimulatory and immune-modulating factors. Intratumoral injection of the CART-mRNA complexes resulted in mRNA expression at the site of administration, transfecting a substantial proportion of tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells, macrophages, and T cells in addition to the tumor cells, resulting in a local antitumor effect. Using a two-tumor model, we further show that mRNA therapy locally administered to one tumor stimulated a systemic antitumor response, curing both tumors. The combination of Ox40l-, Cd80-, and Cd86-encoding mRNA resulted in the local upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, robust local T-cell activation, and migration of immune cells to local draining lymph node or to an anatomically distant tumor. This approach delayed tumor growth, facilitated tumor regression, and cured tumors in both A20 and CT26 tumor models. These results highlight mRNA-CART therapy as a viable approach to induce systemic antitumor immunity from a single localized injection. SIGNIFICANCE: The mRNA-CART system is a highly effective delivery platform for delivering immunostimulatory genes into the tumor microenvironment for potential therapeutic development.
Project description:Breast cancer brain metastases (BCBMs) are common in patients with metastatic breast cancer and indicate a poor prognosis. These tumors are especially resistant to currently available treatments due to multiple factors. However, the combination of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified immune cells and oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) has not yet been explored in this context. In this study, NK-92 cells and primary NK cells were engineered to express the second generation of EGFR-CAR. The efficacies of anti-BCBMs of EGFR-CAR NK cells, oHSV-1, and their combination were tested in vitro and in a breast cancer intracranial mouse model. In vitro, compared with mock-transduced NK-92 cells or primary NK cells, EGFR-CAR-engineered NK-92 cells and primary NK cells displayed enhanced cytotoxicity and IFN-? production when co-cultured with breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MCF-7. oHSV-1 alone was also capable of lysing and destroying these cells. However, a higher cytolytic effect of EGFR-CAR NK-92 cells was observed when combined with oHSV-1 compared to the monotherapies. In the mice intracranially pre-inoculated with EGFR-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells, intratumoral administration of either EGFR-CAR-transduced NK-92 cells or oHSV-1 mitigated tumor growth. Notably, the combination of EGFR-CAR NK-92 cells with oHSV-1 resulted in more efficient killing of MDA-MB-231 tumor cells and significantly longer survival of tumor-bearing mice when compared to monotherapies. These results demonstrate that regional administration of EGFR-CAR NK-92 cells combined with oHSV-1 therapy is a potentially promising strategy to treat BCBMs.
Project description:Redirecting T lymphocyte antigen specificity by gene transfer can provide large numbers of tumor-reactive T lymphocytes for adoptive immunotherapy. However, safety concerns associated with viral vector production have limited clinical application of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). T lymphocytes can be gene modified by RNA electroporation without integration-associated safety concerns. To establish a safe platform for adoptive immunotherapy, we first optimized the vector backbone for RNA in vitro transcription to achieve high-level transgene expression. CAR expression and function of RNA-electroporated T cells could be detected up to a week after electroporation. Multiple injections of RNA CAR-electroporated T cells mediated regression of large vascularized flank mesothelioma tumors in NOD/scid/?c(-/-) mice. Dramatic tumor reduction also occurred when the preexisting intraperitoneal human-derived tumors, which had been growing in vivo for >50 days, were treated by multiple injections of autologous human T cells electroporated with anti-mesothelin CAR mRNA. This is the first report using matched patient tumor and lymphocytes showing that autologous T cells from cancer patients can be engineered to provide an effective therapy for a disseminated tumor in a robust preclinical model. Multiple injections of RNA-engineered T cells are a novel approach for adoptive cell transfer, providing flexible platform for the treatment of cancer that may complement the use of retroviral and lentiviral engineered T cells. This approach may increase the therapeutic index of T cells engineered to express powerful activation domains without the associated safety concerns of integrating viral vectors.