Menu

New CAR T-Cell Therapy Shows Promise in Trial for Leukemia

The immunotherapy, which targets CD22 on cancer cells rather than CD19, might prove useful in patients for whom previous T-cell treatments were unsuccessful. 

Nov 21, 2017
Katarina Zimmer

ISTOCK, DR_MICROBEResearchers report promising results in a Phase 1 trial testing a new cell therapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell technology on patients suffering from a treatment-resistant form of leukemia. The study, which successfully treated even cancers that had resisted a previous CAR T immunotherapy, was published in Nature Medicine yesterday (November 20).

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. Usually, it can be treated with chemotherapy, but sometimes patients suffer relapses or don’t improve after treatments such as chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants.

Cell therapy is a new approach to tackle these difficult forms of cancer. The first such drug, Kymriah, developed by Novartis, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for the treatment of lymphoblastic leukemia in cases where other types of treatment fail. The therapy involves extracting millions of a patient’s T-cells and genetically modifying them to destroy malignant cancer cells before returning them.

The modification introduces a chimeric antigen receptor that targets a specific protein molecule found on the surface of cancer cells—CD19—in leukemia and lymphoma. But even patients who have undergone this therapy suffer recurrences. Now, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute designed a new CAR T-cell therapy that targets a different surface molecule, CD22.

“This is the first time that we’ve seen response rates anything like we achieved when we were first testing the CD19 CAR T therapy,” says Stanford’s Crystal Mackall, the senior author of the study, in a press release

The Phase 1 trial enrolled 21 children and young adults (ages seven to 30) with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had relapsed or not responded to previous treatment. Fifteen of them had also undergone CD19-targeted cell therapy without significant improvement. The patients were administered varying doses of the new, anti-CD22 CAR T-cell therapy.

One in six patients at the lowest dose level achieved complete remission after treatment. At an elevated dose, 73 percent of patients entered remission. The remission lasted a median of six months. While a few patients remained in complete remission up to 21 months after the therapy, most of them relapsed.

See “The Car T-Cell Race”

The high relapse rate “forces the field to get even more sophisticated,” says Mackall. “What happens if we target both CD19 and CD22 simultaneously?”

Mackall tells The New York Times that a new T-cell treatment that attacks both targets is already being tested at Stanford. For her, the current study “gives hope to the idea that there may be another similar, powerful therapy.”

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.