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      Chimeric antigen receptor T cells for sustained remissions in leukemia.

      The New England journal of medicine

      Adult, Young Adult, immunology, T-Lymphocytes, Survival Rate, Remission Induction, Recurrence, therapeutic use, genetics, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, therapy, mortality, Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma, Middle Aged, Male, Adolescent, Lentivirus, Immunotherapy, Humans, Genetic Vectors, Genetic Therapy, Genetic Engineering, Female, blood, Cytokines, Chimera, Child, Preschool, Child, Antigens, CD19, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized

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          Abstract

          Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is difficult to treat despite the availability of aggressive therapies. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells targeting CD19 may overcome many limitations of conventional therapies and induce remission in patients with refractory disease. We infused autologous T cells transduced with a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CTL019) lentiviral vector in patients with relapsed or refractory ALL at doses of 0.76×10(6) to 20.6×10(6) CTL019 cells per kilogram of body weight. Patients were monitored for a response, toxic effects, and the expansion and persistence of circulating CTL019 T cells. A total of 30 children and adults received CTL019. Complete remission was achieved in 27 patients (90%), including 2 patients with blinatumomab-refractory disease and 15 who had undergone stem-cell transplantation. CTL019 cells proliferated in vivo and were detectable in the blood, bone marrow, and cerebrospinal fluid of patients who had a response. Sustained remission was achieved with a 6-month event-free survival rate of 67% (95% confidence interval [CI], 51 to 88) and an overall survival rate of 78% (95% CI, 65 to 95). At 6 months, the probability that a patient would have persistence of CTL019 was 68% (95% CI, 50 to 92) and the probability that a patient would have relapse-free B-cell aplasia was 73% (95% CI, 57 to 94). All the patients had the cytokine-release syndrome. Severe cytokine-release syndrome, which developed in 27% of the patients, was associated with a higher disease burden before infusion and was effectively treated with the anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T-cell therapy against CD19 was effective in treating relapsed and refractory ALL. CTL019 was associated with a high remission rate, even among patients for whom stem-cell transplantation had failed, and durable remissions up to 24 months were observed. (Funded by Novartis and others; CART19 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01626495 and NCT01029366.).

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          Most cited references 29

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          Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells in chronic lymphoid leukemia.

          We designed a lentiviral vector expressing a chimeric antigen receptor with specificity for the B-cell antigen CD19, coupled with CD137 (a costimulatory receptor in T cells [4-1BB]) and CD3-zeta (a signal-transduction component of the T-cell antigen receptor) signaling domains. A low dose (approximately 1.5×10(5) cells per kilogram of body weight) of autologous chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells reinfused into a patient with refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) expanded to a level that was more than 1000 times as high as the initial engraftment level in vivo, with delayed development of the tumor lysis syndrome and with complete remission. Apart from the tumor lysis syndrome, the only other grade 3/4 toxic effect related to chimeric antigen receptor T cells was lymphopenia. Engineered cells persisted at high levels for 6 months in the blood and bone marrow and continued to express the chimeric antigen receptor. A specific immune response was detected in the bone marrow, accompanied by loss of normal B cells and leukemia cells that express CD19. Remission was ongoing 10 months after treatment. Hypogammaglobulinemia was an expected chronic toxic effect.
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            Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells for acute lymphoid leukemia.

            Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells with specificity for CD19 have shown promise in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It remains to be established whether chimeric antigen receptor T cells have clinical activity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Two children with relapsed and refractory pre-B-cell ALL received infusions of T cells transduced with anti-CD19 antibody and a T-cell signaling molecule (CTL019 chimeric antigen receptor T cells), at a dose of 1.4×10(6) to 1.2×10(7) CTL019 cells per kilogram of body weight. In both patients, CTL019 T cells expanded to a level that was more than 1000 times as high as the initial engraftment level, and the cells were identified in bone marrow. In addition, the chimeric antigen receptor T cells were observed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), where they persisted at high levels for at least 6 months. Eight grade 3 or 4 adverse events were noted. The cytokine-release syndrome and B-cell aplasia developed in both patients. In one child, the cytokine-release syndrome was severe; cytokine blockade with etanercept and tocilizumab was effective in reversing the syndrome and did not prevent expansion of chimeric antigen receptor T cells or reduce antileukemic efficacy. Complete remission was observed in both patients and is ongoing in one patient at 11 months after treatment. The other patient had a relapse, with blast cells that no longer expressed CD19, approximately 2 months after treatment. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells are capable of killing even aggressive, treatment-refractory acute leukemia cells in vivo. The emergence of tumor cells that no longer express the target indicates a need to target other molecules in addition to CD19 in some patients with ALL.
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              Efficacy and toxicity management of 19-28z CAR T cell therapy in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

              We report on 16 patients with relapsed or refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that we treated with autologous T cells expressing the 19-28z chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) specific to the CD19 antigen. The overall complete response rate was 88%, which allowed us to transition most of these patients to a standard-of-care allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT). This therapy was as effective in high-risk patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) disease as in those with relapsed disease after previous allo-SCT. Through systematic analysis of clinical data and serum cytokine levels over the first 21 days after T cell infusion, we have defined diagnostic criteria for a severe cytokine release syndrome (sCRS), with the goal of better identifying the subset of patients who will likely require therapeutic intervention with corticosteroids or interleukin-6 receptor blockade to curb the sCRS. Additionally, we found that serum C-reactive protein, a readily available laboratory study, can serve as a reliable indicator for the severity of the CRS. Together, our data provide strong support for conducting a multicenter phase 2 study to further evaluate 19-28z CAR T cells in B-ALL and a road map for patient management at centers now contemplating the use of CAR T cell therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                25317870
                10.1056/NEJMoa1407222
                4267531

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