CAR T-cell therapy offers hope to glioblastoma patients

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A patient with recurrent multifocal glioblastoma have shown signs of regression after receiving chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy targeting the tumor-associated antigen interleukin-13 receptor alpha 2 (IL13Rα2).

This non-randomized, open-label Phase 1 study is designed to evaluate the safety and best dose of genetically modified CAR T-cells in treating patients with recurrent or refractory malignant glioma. The study co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is being conducted at California’s City of Hope Medical Center.

T cells isolated from the patient were lentivirally transduced to express an IL13Rα2-specific chimeric receptor and a truncated CD19. In the procedure, the patient received multiple infusions of CAR T-cells over 220 days through intracranial infusions into the resected tumor cavity followed by infusions into the ventricular system.

Results of the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed no toxic effects of grade 3 or above after intracranial infusion of IL13Rα2-targeted CAR T cells in the patient. After CAR T-cell treatment, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRI) showed regression of all intracranial and spinal tumors, along with corresponding increases in levels of cytokines and immune cells in the cerebrospinal fluid. More interestingly, this clinical response continued for 7.5 months after the initiation of CAR T-cell therapy.

The study is recruiting more patients and is expected to complete in 2019.

Source: Regression of Glioblastoma after Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy. Brown CE et al., The New England Journal of Medicine December 2016. DOI