In Vitro-Transcribed mRNA Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell (IVT mRNA CAR T) Therapy in Hematologic and Solid Tumor Management: A Preclinical Update.
ABSTRACT: Adoptive T cell immunotherapy has received considerable interest in the treatment of cancer. In recent years, chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy has emerged as a promising therapy in cancer treatment. In CAR T therapy, T cells from the patients are collected, reprogrammed genetically against tumor antigens, and reintroduced into the patients to trigger an immense immune response against cancer cells. CAR T therapy is successful in hematologic malignancies; however, in solid tumors, CAR T therapy faces multiple challenges, including the on-target off-tumor phenomenon, as most of the tumor-associated antigens are expressed in normal cells as well. Consequently, a transient in vitro-transcribed anti-mRNA-based CAR T cell (IVT mRNA CAR T) approach has been investigated to produce controlled cytotoxicity for a limited duration to avoid any undesirable effects in patients. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated the therapeutic ability of mRNA-engineered T cells in solid tumors, including melanoma, neuroblastoma and ovarian cancer; however, very few clinical trials are registered. In the present review, we discuss the effect of IVT mRNA CAR T therapy in preclinical studies related to hematologic malignancies and solid tumor management. In addition, we discuss the clinical trial studies based on IVT mRNA CAR T therapy in cancer.
Project description:Tumor treatment is still complicated in the field of medicine. Tumor immunotherapy has been the most interesting research field in cancer therapy. Application of chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy has recently achieved excellent clinical outcome in patients, especially those with CD19-positive hematologic malignancies. This phenomenon has induced intense interest to develop CAR-T cell therapy for cancer, especially for solid tumors. However, the performance of CAR-T cell treatment in solid tumor is not as satisfactory as that in hematologic disease. Clinical studies on some neoplasms, such as glioblastoma, ovarian cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma, have achieved desirable outcome. This review describes the history and evolution of CAR-T, generalizes the structure and preparation of CAR-T, and summarizes the latest advances on CAR-T cell therapy in different tumor types. The last section presents the current challenges and prospects of CAR-T application to provide guidance for subsequent research.
Project description:Increasing demand for large-scale synthesis of in vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA is being driven by the increasing use of mRNA for transient gene expression in cell engineering and therapeutic applications. An important determinant of IVT mRNA potency is the 3' polyadenosine (poly(A)) tail, the length of which correlates with translational efficiency. However, present methods for generation of IVT mRNA rely on templates derived from circular plasmids or PCR products, in which homopolymeric tracts are unstable, thus limiting encoded poly(A) tail lengths to ~120 base pairs (bp). Here, we have developed a novel method for generation of extended poly(A) tracts using a previously described linear plasmid system, pJazz. We find that linear plasmids can successfully propagate poly(A) tracts up to ~500?bp in length for IVT mRNA production. We then modified pJazz by removing extraneous restriction sites, adding a T7 promoter sequence upstream from an extended multiple cloning site, and adding a unique type-IIS restriction site downstream from the encoded poly(A) tract to facilitate generation of IVT mRNA with precisely defined encoded poly(A) tracts and 3' termini. The resulting plasmid, designated pEVL, can be used to generate IVT mRNA with consistent defined lengths and terminal residue(s).
Project description:Engineering chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) or T cell receptors (TCR) helps create disease-specific T cells for targeted therapy, but the cost and rigor associated with manufacturing engineered T cells ex vivo can be prohibitive, so programing T cells in vivo may be a viable alternative. Here we report an injectable nanocarrier that delivers in vitro-transcribed (IVT) CAR or TCR mRNA for transiently reprograming of circulating T cells to recognize disease-relevant antigens. In mouse models of human leukemia, prostate cancer and hepatitis B-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, repeated infusions of these polymer nanocarriers induce sufficient host T cells expressing tumor-specific CARs or virus-specific TCRs to cause disease regression at levels similar to bolus infusions of ex vivo engineered lymphocytes. Given their ease of manufacturing, distribution and administration, these nanocarriers, and the associated platforms, could become a therapeutic for a wide range of diseases.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has shown promising efficacy against hematologic malignancies. Antitumor activity of CAR T cells, however, needs to be improved to increase therapeutic efficacy in both hematologic and solid cancers. Limitations to overcome are 'on-target, off-tumor' toxicity, antigen escape, short CAR T cell persistence, little expansion, trafficking to the tumor and inhibition of T cell activity by an inhibitory tumor microenvironment. Here we will discuss how optimizing the design of CAR T cells through genetic engineering addresses these limitations and improves the antitumor efficacy of CAR T cell therapy in pre-clinical models.
Project description:The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is a genetically engineered receptor that combines a scFv domain, which specifically recognizes the tumor-specific antigen, with T cell activation domains. CAR-T cell therapies have demonstrated tremendous efficacy against hematologic malignancies in many clinical trials. Recent studies have extended these efforts to the treatment of solid tumors. However, the outcomes of CAR-T cell therapy for solid tumors are not as remarkable as the outcomes have been for hematologic malignancies. A series of hurdles has arisen with respect to CAR-T cell-based immunotherapy, which needs to be overcome to target solid tumors. The major challenge for CAR-T cell therapy in solid tumors is the selection of the appropriate specific antigen to demarcate the tumor from normal tissue. In this review, we discuss the application of CAR-T cells to gastrointestinal and hepatic carcinomas in preclinical and clinical research. Furthermore, we analyze the usefulness of several specific markers in the study of gastrointestinal tumors and hepatic carcinoma.
Project description:Genetically modified T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) demonstrate robust responses against lineage restricted, non-essential targets in hematologic cancers. However, in solid tumors, the full potential of CAR T cell therapy is limited by the availability of cell surface antigens with sufficient cancer-specific expression. The majority of CAR targets have been normal self-antigens on dispensable hematopoietic tissues or overexpressed shared antigens. Here, we established that abnormal self-antigens can serve as targets for tumor rejection. We developed a CAR that recognized cancer-associated Tn glycoform of MUC1, a neoantigen expressed in a variety of cancers. Anti-Tn-MUC1 CAR T cells demonstrated target-specific cytotoxicity and successfully controlled tumor growth in xenograft models of T cell leukemia and pancreatic cancer. These findings demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of CAR T cells directed against Tn-MUC1 and present aberrantly glycosylated antigens as a novel class of targets for tumor therapy with engineered T cells.
Project description:Antibody-based drugs are a leading class of biologics used to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. However, wide antibody implementation is hindered by manufacturing challenges and high production cost. Use of in-vitro-transcribed mRNA (IVT-mRNA) for endogenous protein expression has the potential to circumvent many of the shortcomings of antibody production and therapeutic application. Here, we describe the development of an IVT-mRNA system for in vivo delivery of a humanized anti-HER2 (also known as ERBB2) antibody, trastuzumab, and demonstrate its anticancer activity. We engineered the IVT-mRNA sequence to maximize expression, then formulated the IVT-mRNA into lipid-based nanoparticles (LNPs) to protect the mRNA from degradation and enable efficient in vivo delivery. Systemic delivery of the optimized IVT-mRNA loaded into LNPs resulted in antibody serum concentrations of 45 ± 8.6 ?g/mL for 14 days after LNP injection. Further studies demonstrated an improved pharmacokinetic profile of the produced protein compared to injection of trastuzumab protein. Finally, treatment of tumor-bearing mice with trastuzumab IVT-mRNA LNPs selectively reduced the volume of HER2-positive tumors and improved animal survival. Taken together, the results of our study demonstrate that using IVT-mRNA LNPs to express full-size therapeutic antibodies in the liver can provide an effective strategy for cancer treatment and offers an alternative to protein administration.
Project description: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:Adoptive T cell therapy is a form of cellular therapy that utilizes human immune cells, often empowered by the expression of recombinant proteins, to attack selected targets present on tumor or infected cells. T cell-based immunotherapy has been progressing over the past several decades, and reached a milestone with the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for relapsed and refractory leukemia and lymphoma. Although most studies have used viral vectors, a growing number of researchers have come to appreciate in vitro-transcribed (IVT) mRNA for the development, testing, and application of T cell-based immunotherapeutics. IVT mRNA offers inherent safety features, highly efficient recombinant protein translation, and the ability to control pharmacokinetic properties of the therapy. In this review, we discuss the history of IVT mRNA in adoptive T cell therapy, from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and T cell receptor-based therapies to chimeric antigen receptor therapy and gene-editing techniques, as well as prior and ongoing clinical trials.