PSMA-targeting TGFβ-insensitive armored CAR T cells in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: a phase 1 trial.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have demonstrated promising efficacy, particularly in hematologic malignancies. One challenge regarding CAR T cells in solid tumors is the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), characterized by high levels of multiple inhibitory factors, including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. We report results from an in-human phase 1 trial of castration-resistant, prostate cancer-directed CAR T cells armored with a dominant-negative TGF-β receptor (NCT03089203). Primary endpoints were safety and feasibility, while secondary objectives included assessment of CAR T cell distribution, bioactivity and disease response. All prespecified endpoints were met. Eighteen patients enrolled, and 13 subjects received therapy across four dose levels. Five of the 13 patients developed grade ≥2 cytokine release syndrome (CRS), including one patient who experienced a marked clonal CAR T cell expansion, >98% reduction in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and death following grade 4 CRS with concurrent sepsis. Acute increases in inflammatory cytokines correlated with manageable high-grade CRS events. Three additional patients achieved a PSA reduction of ≥30%, with CAR T cell failure accompanied by upregulation of multiple TME-localized inhibitory molecules following adoptive cell transfer. CAR T cell kinetics revealed expansion in blood and tumor trafficking. Thus, clinical application of TGF-β-resistant CAR T cells is feasible and generally safe. Future studies should use superior multipronged approaches against the TME to improve outcomes.

Nature medicine. 2022 Mar 21 [Epub]

Vivek Narayan, Julie S Barber-Rotenberg, In-Young Jung, Simon F Lacey, Andrew J Rech, Megan M Davis, Wei-Ting Hwang, Priti Lal, Erica L Carpenter, Shannon L Maude, Gabriela Plesa, Neha Vapiwala, Anne Chew, Michael Moniak, Ronnie A Sebro, Michael D Farwell, Amy Marshall, Joan Gilmore, Lester Lledo, Karen Dengel, Sarah E Church, Tyler D Hether, Jun Xu, Mercy Gohil, Thomas H Buckingham, Stephanie S Yee, Vanessa E Gonzalez, Irina Kulikovskaya, Fang Chen, Lifeng Tian, Kyle Tien, Whitney Gladney, Christopher L Nobles, Hayley E Raymond, Prostate Cancer Cellular Therapy Program Investigators , Elizabeth O Hexner, Donald L Siegel, Frederic D Bushman, Carl H June, Joseph A Fraietta, Naomi B Haas

Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA., Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA., Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA., Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA., Division of Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA., NanoString Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA, USA., Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA., Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. ., Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. ., Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. .

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