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Volume 3 Supplement 2

30th Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2015)

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Preclinical evaluation of CD38 chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cells for the treatment of multiple myeloma


Adoptive transfer of T cells transduced with tumor-reactive Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) is a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy. The CD38 molecule, with its high and homogenous expression on Multiple Myeloma (MM) cells, appears a suitable target for antibody therapy. Prompted by this, we evaluated the feasibility of targeting MM with CD38-CAR-transduced (CD38-CAR) T cells.


We generated three retroviral CAR constructs based on huCD38 antibodies, CD3ζ and 4-1BB signaling domains and transduced them into T cells of healthy donors and MM patients to test the in vitro and in vivo efficacy.


Irrespective of the donor, CD38-CAR T cells lost CD38 expression, expanded readily and lysed MM and other malignant cell lines in a cell dose-, and CD38-dependent manner. They also lysed primary malignant cells from acute myeloid leukemia, and multi-drug resistant MM patients. Also in a xenotransplant model, i.v. injected CD38-CAR T cells were effective against MM tumors growing in a human bone marrow-like microenvironment, thus demonstrating their ability to properly migrate and infiltrate into the tumor niche to lyse malignant cells. Although CD38-CAR T cells lysed CD38+ monocytes, NK cells, CD34+ cells and to a lesser extent CD38+ T and B cells, they did not hamper the outgrowth progenitor cells into various myeloid lineages. Furthermore, CD38-CART cells were controllable with a caspase-9-based suicide gene.


These results signify the potential importance of CD38-CAR T cells as therapeutic tools for CD38+ malignancies, including MM, and warrant further safety and efficacy evaluation in appropriate models.

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Drent, E., Groen, R., Noort, W. et al. Preclinical evaluation of CD38 chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cells for the treatment of multiple myeloma. j. immunotherapy cancer 3 (Suppl 2), P13 (2015).

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