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      Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy - assessment and management of toxicities.

      Nature reviews. Clinical oncology
      Springer Nature America, Inc

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          Abstract

          Immunotherapy using T cells genetically engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is rapidly emerging as a promising new treatment for haematological and non-haematological malignancies. CAR-T-cell therapy can induce rapid and durable clinical responses, but is associated with unique acute toxicities, which can be severe or even fatal. Cytokine-release syndrome (CRS), the most commonly observed toxicity, can range in severity from low-grade constitutional symptoms to a high-grade syndrome associated with life-threatening multiorgan dysfunction; rarely, severe CRS can evolve into fulminant haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Neurotoxicity, termed CAR-T-cell-related encephalopathy syndrome (CRES), is the second most-common adverse event, and can occur concurrently with or after CRS. Intensive monitoring and prompt management of toxicities is essential to minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with this potentially curative therapeutic approach; however, algorithms for accurate and consistent grading and management of the toxicities are lacking. To address this unmet need, we formed a CAR-T-cell-therapy-associated TOXicity (CARTOX) Working Group, comprising investigators from multiple institutions and medical disciplines who have experience in treating patients with various CAR-T-cell therapy products. Herein, we describe the multidisciplinary approach adopted at our institutions, and provide recommendations for monitoring, grading, and managing the acute toxicities that can occur in patients treated with CAR-T-cell therapy.

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          Most cited references31

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          Inducible apoptosis as a safety switch for adoptive cell therapy.

          Cellular therapies could play a role in cancer treatment and regenerative medicine if it were possible to quickly eliminate the infused cells in case of adverse events. We devised an inducible T-cell safety switch that is based on the fusion of human caspase 9 to a modified human FK-binding protein, allowing conditional dimerization. When exposed to a synthetic dimerizing drug, the inducible caspase 9 (iCasp9) becomes activated and leads to the rapid death of cells expressing this construct. We tested the activity of our safety switch by introducing the gene into donor T cells given to enhance immune reconstitution in recipients of haploidentical stem-cell transplants. Patients received AP1903, an otherwise bioinert small-molecule dimerizing drug, if graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) developed. We measured the effects of AP1903 on GVHD and on the function and persistence of the cells containing the iCasp9 safety switch. Five patients between the ages of 3 and 17 years who had undergone stem-cell transplantation for relapsed acute leukemia were treated with the genetically modified T cells. The cells were detected in peripheral blood from all five patients and increased in number over time, despite their constitutive transgene expression. A single dose of dimerizing drug, given to four patients in whom GVHD developed, eliminated more than 90% of the modified T cells within 30 minutes after administration and ended the GVHD without recurrence. The iCasp9 cell-suicide system may increase the safety of cellular therapies and expand their clinical applications. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00710892.).
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            Durable Molecular Remissions in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treated With CD19-Specific Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cells After Failure of Ibrutinib.

            Purpose We evaluated the safety and feasibility of anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor-modified T (CAR-T) cell therapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who had previously received ibrutinib. Methods Twenty-four patients with CLL received lymphodepleting chemotherapy and anti-CD19 CAR-T cells at one of three dose levels (2 × 10(5), 2 × 10(6), or 2 × 10(7) CAR-T cells/kg). Nineteen patients experienced disease progression while receiving ibrutinib, three were ibrutinib intolerant, and two did not experience progression while receiving ibrutinib. Six patients were venetoclax refractory, and 23 had a complex karyotype and/or 17p deletion. Results Four weeks after CAR-T cell infusion, the overall response rate (complete response [CR] and/or partial response [PR]) by International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (IWCLL) criteria was 71% (17 of 24). Twenty patients (83%) developed cytokine release syndrome, and eight (33%) developed neurotoxicity, which was reversible in all but one patient with a fatal outcome. Twenty of 24 patients received cyclophosphamide and fludarabine lymphodepletion and CD19 CAR-T cells at or below the maximum tolerated dose (≤ 2 × 10(6) CAR-T cells/kg). In 19 of these patients who were restaged, the overall response rate by IWCLL imaging criteria 4 weeks after infusion was 74% (CR, 4/19, 21%; PR, 10/19, 53%), and 15/17 patients (88%) with marrow disease before CAR-T cells had no disease by flow cytometry after CAR-T cells. Twelve of these patients underwent deep IGH sequencing, and seven (58%) had no malignant IGH sequences detected in marrow. Absence of the malignant IGH clone in marrow of patients with CLL who responded by IWCLL criteria was associated with 100% progression-free survival and overall survival (median 6.6 months follow-up) after CAR-T cell immunotherapy. The progression-free survival was similar in patients with lymph node PR or CR by IWCLL criteria. Conclusion CD19 CAR-T cells are highly effective in high-risk patients with CLL after they experience treatment failure with ibrutinib therapy.
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              A transgene-encoded cell surface polypeptide for selection, in vivo tracking, and ablation of engineered cells.

              An unmet need in cell engineering is the availability of a single transgene encoded, functionally inert, human polypeptide that can serve multiple purposes, including ex vivo cell selection, in vivo cell tracking, and as a target for in vivo cell ablation. Here we describe a truncated human EGFR polypeptide (huEGFRt) that is devoid of extracellular N-terminal ligand binding domains and intracellular receptor tyrosine kinase activity but retains the native amino acid sequence, type I transmembrane cell surface localization, and a conformationally intact binding epitope for pharmaceutical-grade anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, cetuximab (Erbitux). After lentiviral transduction of human T cells with vectors that coordinately express tumor-specific chimeric antigen receptors and huEGFRt, we show that huEGFRt serves as a highly efficient selection epitope for chimeric antigen receptor(+) T cells using biotinylated cetuximab in conjunction with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP)-grade anti-biotin immunomagnetic microbeads. Moreover, huEGFRt provides a cell surface marker for in vivo tracking of adoptively transferred T cells using both flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, and a target for cetuximab-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and in vivo elimination. The versatility of huEGFRt and the availability of pharmaceutical-grade reagents for its clinical application denote huEGFRt as a significant new tool for cellular engineering.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                28925994
                10.1038/nrclinonc.2017.148
                6733403

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