Inhibition of PP2A with LB-100 Enhances Efficacy of CAR-T Cell Therapy Against Glioblastoma.
ABSTRACT: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cells represent a promising modality for treating glioblastoma. Recently, we demonstrated that CAR-T cells targeting carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), a protein involved in HIF-1a hypoxic signaling, is a promising CAR-T cell target in an intracranial murine glioblastoma model. Anti-CAIX CAR-T cell therapy is limited by its suboptimal activation within the tumor microenvironment. LB-100, a small molecular inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), has been shown to enhance T cell anti-tumor activity through activation of the mTOR signaling pathway. Herein, we investigated if a treatment strategy consisting of a combination of LB-100 and anti-CAIX CAR-T cell therapy produced a synergistic anti-tumor effect. Our studies demonstrate that LB-100 enhanced anti-CAIX CAR-T cell treatment efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Our findings demonstrate the role of LB-100 in augmenting the cytotoxic activity of anti-CAIX CAR-T cells and underscore the synergistic therapeutic potential of applying combination LB-100 and CAR-T Cell therapy to other solid tumors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glioblastoma survival remains unchanged despite continuing therapeutic innovation. Herein, we aim to (i) develop chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells with a specificity to a unique antigen, carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), which is expressed in the hypoxic microenvironment characteristic of glioblastoma, and (ii) demonstrate its efficacy with limited off-target effects. METHODS:First we demonstrated expression of CAIX in patient-derived glioblastoma samples and available databases. CAR T cells were generated against CAIX and efficacy was assessed in 4 glioblastoma cell lines and 2 glioblastoma stem cell lines. Cytotoxicity of anti-CAIX CAR T cells was assessed via interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-2 levels when co-cultured with tumor cells. Finally, we assessed efficacy of direct intratumoral injection of the anti-CAIX CAR T cells on an in vivo xenograft mouse model using the U251 luciferase cell line. Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte analyses were performed. RESULTS:We confirm that CAIX is highly expressed in glioblastoma from patients. We demonstrate that CAIX is a suitable target for CAR T-cell therapy using anti-CAIX CAR T cells against glioblastoma in vitro and in vivo. In our mouse model, a 20% cure rate was observed without detectable systemic effects. CONCLUSIONS:By establishing the specificity of CAIX under hypoxic conditions in glioblastoma and highlighting its efficacy as a target for CAR T-cell therapy, our data suggest that anti-CAIX CAR T may be a promising strategy to treat glioblastoma. Direct intratumoral injection increases anti-CAIX CAR T-cell potency while limiting its off-target effects.
Project description:PURPOSE:Glioblastoma (GBM) carries a dismal prognosis despite standard multimodal treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as PD1 blockade, for treatment of GBM failed to show clinical benefit. Rational combination strategies to overcome resistance of GBM to checkpoint monotherapy are needed to extend the promise of immunotherapy to GBM management. Emerging evidence suggests that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) plays a critical role in the signal transduction pathways of both adaptive and innate immune cells and that inhibition of PP2A could enhance cancer immunity. We investigated the use of a PP2A inhibitor, LB-100, to enhance antitumor efficacy of PD1 blockade in a syngeneic glioma model. METHODS:C57BL/6 mice were implanted with murine glioma cell line GL261-luc or GL261-WT and randomized into 4 treatment arms: (i) control, (ii) LB-100, (iii) PD1 blockade and (iv) combination. Survival was assessed and detailed profiling of tumor infiltrating leukocytes was performed. RESULTS:Dual PP2A and PD1 blockade significantly improved survival compared with monotherapy alone. Combination therapy resulted in complete regression of tumors in about 25% of mice. This effect was dependent on CD4 and CD8 T cells and cured mice established antigen-specific secondary protective immunity. Analysis of tumor lymphocytes demonstrated enhanced CD8 infiltration and effector function. CONCLUSION:This is the first preclinical investigation of the effect of combining PP2A inhibition with PD1 blockade for GBM. This novel combination provided effective tumor immunotherapy and long-term survival in our animal GBM model.
Project description:Carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) is a tumor-associated antigen and marker of hypoxia that is overexpressed on > 90% of clear-cell type renal cell carcinoma (RCC) but not on neighboring normal kidney tissue. Here, we report on the construction of two chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that utilize a carbonic anhydrase (CA) domain mapped, human single chain antibody (scFv G36) as a targeting moiety but differ in their capacity to provide costimulatory signaling for optimal T cell proliferation and tumor cell killing. The resulting anti-CAIX CARs were expressed on human primary T cells via lentivirus transduction. CAR-transduced T cells (CART cells) expressing second-generation G36-CD28-TCR? exhibited more potent in vitro antitumor effects on CAIX(+) RCC cells than first-generation G36-CD8-TCR? including cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion, proliferation, and clonal expansion. Adoptive G36-CD28-TCR? CART cell therapy combined with high-dose interleukin (IL)-2 injection also lead to superior regression of established RCC in nude mice with evidence of tumor cell apoptosis and tissue necrosis. These results suggest that the fully human G36-CD28-TCR? CARs should provide substantial improvements over first-generation mouse anti-CAIX CARs in clinical use through reduced human anti-mouse antibody responses against the targeting scFv and administration of lower doses of T cells during CART cell therapy of CAIX(+) RCC.
Project description:Therapy with autologous T cells that have been gene-engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) or T cell receptors (TCR) provides a feasible and broadly applicable treatment for cancer patients. In a clinical study in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients with CAR T cells specific for carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), we observed toxicities that (most likely) indicated in vivo function of CAR T cells as well as low T cell persistence and clinical response rates. The latter observations were confirmed by later clinical trials in other solid tumor types and other gene-modified T cells. To improve the efficacy of T cell therapy, we have redefined in vitro conditions to generate T cells with young phenotype, a key correlate with clinical outcome. For their impact on gene-modified T cell phenotype and function, we have tested various anti-CD3/CD28 mAb-based T cell activation and expansion conditions as well as several cytokines prior to and/or after gene transfer using two different receptors: CAIX CAR and MAGE-C2(ALK)/HLA-A2 TCR. In a total set of 16 healthy donors, we observed that T cell activation with soluble anti-CD3/CD28 mAbs in the presence of both IL15 and IL21 prior to TCR gene transfer resulted in enhanced proportions of gene-modified T cells with a preferred in vitro phenotype and better function. T cells generated according to these processing methods demonstrated enhanced binding of pMHC, and an enhanced proportion of CD8+, CD27+, CD62L+, CD45RA+T cells. These new conditions will be translated into a GMP protocol in preparation of a clinical adoptive therapy trial to treat patients with MAGE-C2-positive tumors.
Project description:Autologous T cells were genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) directed toward carboxy-anhydrase-IX (CAIX) and used to treat patients with CAIX-positive metastatic renal cell carcinoma. In this study, we questioned whether the T cell maturation stage in the pre-infusion product affected CAIX CAR expression and function in vitro as well as in vivo CAR T cell numbers and expansion. During the 14?days expansion of CAR T cells prior to administration, we observed shifts from a predominant CD4 to a CD8 T cell phenotype and from a significant fraction of naïve to central effector T cells. Surface expression of the CAR was equally distributed among different T cell subsets and T cell maturation stages. During T cell culture days 14-18 (which covered patient treatment days 1-5), T cells demonstrated a decline in CAR expression level per cell irrespective of T cell maturation stage, although the proportion of CAR-positive T cells and CAR-mediated T cell effector functions remained similar for both CD4 and CD8 T cell populations. Notably, patients with a higher fraction of naïve CD8 T cells at baseline (prior to genetic modification) or central effector CD8 T cells at 2?weeks of CAR T cell culture demonstrated a higher fold expansion and absolute numbers of circulating CAR T cells at 1?month after start of therapy. We conclude that the T cell maturation stage prior to and during CAR T cell expansion culture is related to in vivo CAR T cell expansion.
Project description:Advances in the treatment of metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) have led to improved progression-free survival of many patients; however the therapies are toxic, rarely achieve durable long-term complete responses and are not curative. Herein we used a single bicistronic lentiviral vector to develop a new combination immunotherapy that consists of human anti-carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX)-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells engineered to secrete human anti-programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibodies at the tumor site. The local antibody delivery led to marked immune checkpoint blockade. Tumor growth diminished 5 times and tumor weight reduced 50-80% when compared with the anti-CAIX CAR T cells alone in a humanized mice model of ccRCC. The expression of PD-L1 and Ki67 in the tumors decreased and an increase in granzyme B levels was found in CAR T cells. The anti-PD-L1 IgG1 isotype, which is capable of mediating ADCC, was also able to recruit human NK cells to the tumor site in vivo. These armed second-generation CAR T cells empowered to secrete human anti-PD-L1 antibodies in the ccRCC milieu to combat T cell exhaustion is an innovation in this field that should provide renewed potential for CAR T cell immunotherapy of solid tumors where limited efficacy is currently seen.
Project description:PURPOSE:Bevacizumab, an anti-VEGFA antibody, inhibits the developing vasculature of tumors, but resistance is common. Antiangiogenic therapy induces hypoxia and we observed increased expression of hypoxia-regulated genes, including carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), in response to bevacizumab treatment in xenografts. CAIX expression correlates with poor prognosis in most tumor types and with worse outcome in bevacizumab-treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, malignant astrocytoma, and recurrent malignant glioma. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:We knocked down CAIX expression by short hairpin RNA in a colon cancer (HT29) and a glioblastoma (U87) cell line which have high hypoxic induction of CAIX and overexpressed CAIX in HCT116 cells which has low CAIX. We investigated the effect on growth rate in three-dimensional (3D) culture and in vivo, and examined the effect of CAIX knockdown in combination with bevacizumab. RESULTS:CAIX expression was associated with increased growth rate in spheroids and in vivo. Surprisingly, CAIX expression was associated with increased necrosis and apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. We found that acidity inhibits CAIX activity over the pH range found in tumors (pK = 6.84), and this may be the mechanism whereby excess acid self-limits the build-up of extracellular acid. Expression of another hypoxia inducible CA isoform, CAXII, was upregulated in 3D but not two-dimensional culture in response to CAIX knockdown. CAIX knockdown enhanced the effect of bevacizumab treatment, reducing tumor growth rate in vivo. CONCLUSION:This work provides evidence that inhibition of the hypoxic adaptation to antiangiogenic therapy enhances bevacizumab treatment and highlights the value of developing small molecules or antibodies which inhibit CAIX for combination therapy.
Project description:Background: Liquid biopsy (LB) captures dynamic genomic alterations (alts) across metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) therapy and may complement tissue biopsy (TB). We sought to describe the utility of LB and better understand mCRC biology during therapy. Methods: Thirty-three patients (pts) with mCRC underwent LB. We used permutation-based t-tests to assess associations between alts, and clinical variables and used Kendall's tau to measure correlations. Results: Of 33 pts, 15 were women; 22 had colon, and the rest rectal cancer. Pts received a median of two lines of therapy before LB. Nineteen pts had limited testing on TB (RAS/RAF/TP53/APC), 11 extended NGS, and 3 no TB. Maxpct and alts correlated with CEA (p < 0.001, respectively). In 3/5 pts with serial LB, CEA correlated with maxpct trend, and CT tumor burden. In 6 pts, mutant RAS was seen in LB and not TB; 5/6 had received anti-EGFR therapy prior to LB, suggesting RAS alts developed post-therapy. In two pts RAS-mutated by TB, no RAS alts were detected on LB; these pts had low disease burden on CT at time of LB that also did not reveal APC or TP53 alts. In six patients who were KRAS wt based on TB, post anti-EGFR LB revealed subclonal KRAS mutations, likely a treatment effect. The median number of alts was higher post anti-EGFR LB (n = 12) vs. anti-EGFR naïve LB (n = 22) (9.5 vs. 5.5, p = 0.059) but not statistically significant. More alts were also noted in post anti-EGFR therapy LB vs. KRAS wt anti-EGFR-naïve LB (n = 6) (9.5 vs. 5) among patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, although the difference was not significant (p = 0.182). Conclusions: LB across mCRC therapy detects driver mutations, monitors disease burden, and identifies sub-clonal alts that reflect drug resistance, tumor evolution, and heterogeneity. Interpretation of LB results is impacted by clinical context.
Project description:Autologous T cells genetically modified to express a chimeric antibody receptor (CAR) against carboxy-anhydrase-IX (CAIX) were administered to 12 patients with CAIX-expressing metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients were treated in three cohorts with a maximum of 10 infusions of a total of 0.2 to 2.1 × 10(9) CAR T cells. CTC grade 2-4 liver enzyme disturbances occurred at the lowest CAR T cell doses, necessitating cessation of treatment in four out of eight patients in cohorts 1 and 2. Examination of liver biopsies revealed CAIX expression on bile duct epithelium with infiltration of T cells, including CAR T cells. Subsequently four patients were pre-treated with CAIX monoclonal antibody (mAb) G250 to prevent CAR-specific toxicity and showed no liver toxicities and indications for enhanced peripheral T cell persistence. No clinical responses were recorded. This report shows that CAIX-targeting CAR T cells exerted antigen-specific effects in vivo and induced liver toxicity at the lowest dose of 0.2 × 10(9) T cells applied, illustrating the potency of receptor-modified T cells. We provide in-patient proof that the observed "on-target" toxicity is antigen-directed and can be prevented by blocking antigenic sites in off-tumor organs and allowing higher T cell doses.
Project description:LB-100 is an experimental cancer therapeutic with cytotoxic activity against cancer cells in culture and antitumor activity in animals. The first phase I trial (NCT01837667) evaluating LB-100 recently concluded that safety and efficacy parameters are favorable for further clinical testing. Although LB-100 is widely reported as a specific inhibitor of serine/threonine phosphatase 2A (PP2AC/PPP2CA:PPP2CB), we could find no experimental evidence in the published literature demonstrating the specific engagement of LB-100 with PP2A in vitro, in cultured cells, or in animals. Rather, the premise for LB-100 targeting PP2AC is derived from studies that measure phosphate released from a phosphopeptide (K-R-pT-I-R-R) or inferred from the ability of LB-100 to mimic activity previously reported to result from the inhibition of PP2AC by other means. PP2AC and PPP5C share a common catalytic mechanism. Here, we demonstrate that the phosphopeptide used to ascribe LB-100 specificity for PP2A is also a substrate for PPP5C. Inhibition assays using purified enzymes demonstrate that LB-100 is a catalytic inhibitor of both PP2AC and PPP5C. The structure of PPP5C cocrystallized with LB-100 was solved to a resolution of 1.65Å, revealing that the 7-oxabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2,3-dicarbonyl moiety coordinates with the metal ions and key residues that are conserved in both PP2AC and PPP5C. Cell-based studies revealed some known actions of LB-100 are mimicked by the genetic disruption of PPP5C These data demonstrate that LB-100 is a catalytic inhibitor of both PP2AC and PPP5C and suggest that the observed antitumor activity might be due to an additive effect achieved by suppressing both PP2A and PPP5C.