NKAML: a pilot study to determine the safety and feasibility of haploidentical natural killer cell transplantation in childhood acute myeloid leukemia.
ABSTRACT PURPOSE To conduct a pilot study to determine the safety, feasibility, and engraftment of haploidentical natural killer (NK) cell infusions after an immunosuppressive regimen in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). PATIENTS AND METHODS Ten patients (0.7 to 21 years old) who had completed chemotherapy and were in first complete remission of AML were enrolled on the Pilot Study of Haploidentical Natural Killer Cell Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (NKAML) study. They received cyclophosphamide (60 mg/kg on day -7) and fludarabine (25 mg/m(2)/d on days -6 through -2), followed by killer immunoglobulin-like receptor-human leukocyte antigen (KIR-HLA) mismatched NK cells (median, 29 x 10(6)/kg NK cells) and six doses of interleukin-2 (1 million U/m(2)). NK cell chimerism, phenotyping, and functional assays were performed on days 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28 after transplantation. Results All patients had transient engraftment for a median of 10 days (range, 2 to 189 days) and a significant expansion of KIR-mismatched NK cells (median, 5,800/mL of blood on day 14). Nonhematologic toxicity was limited, with no graft-versus-host disease. Median length of hospitalization was 2 days. With a median follow-up time of 964 days (range, 569 to 1,162 days), all patients remain in remission. The 2-year event-free survival estimate was 100% (95% CI, 63.1% to 100%). CONCLUSION Low-dose immunosuppression followed by donor-recipient inhibitory KIR-HLA mismatched NK cells is well tolerated by patients and results in successful engraftment. We propose to further investigate the efficacy of KIR-mismatched NK cells in a phase II trial as consolidation therapy to decrease relapse without increasing mortality in children with AML.
Article: Membrane-bound IL-21 promotes sustained ex vivo proliferation of human natural killer cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: NK cells have therapeutic potential for a wide variety of human malignancies. However, because NK cells expand poorly in vitro, have limited life spans in vivo, and represent a small fraction of peripheral white blood cells, obtaining sufficient cell numbers is the major obstacle for NK-cell immunotherapy. Genetically-engineered artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPCs) expressing membrane-bound IL-15 (mbIL15) have been used to propagate clinical-grade NK cells for human trials of adoptive immunotherapy, but ex vivo proliferation has been limited by telomere shortening. We developed K562-based aAPCs with membrane-bound IL-21 (mbIL21) and assessed their ability to support human NK-cell proliferation. In contrast to mbIL15, mbIL21-expressing aAPCs promoted log-phase NK cell expansion without evidence of senescence for up to 6 weeks of culture. By day 21, parallel expansion of NK cells from 22 donors demonstrated a mean 47,967-fold expansion (median 31,747) when co-cultured with aAPCs expressing mbIL21 compared to 825-fold expansion (median 325) with mbIL15. Despite the significant increase in proliferation, mbIL21-expanded NK cells also showed a significant increase in telomere length compared to freshly obtained NK cells, suggesting a possible mechanism for their sustained proliferation. NK cells expanded with mbIL21 were similar in phenotype and cytotoxicity to those expanded with mbIL15, with retained donor KIR repertoires and high expression of NCRs, CD16, and NKG2D, but had superior cytokine secretion. The mbIL21-expanded NK cells showed increased transcription of the activating receptor CD160, but otherwise had remarkably similar mRNA expression profiles of the 96 genes assessed. mbIL21-expanded NK cells had significant cytotoxicity against all tumor cell lines tested, retained responsiveness to inhibitory KIR ligands, and demonstrated enhanced killing via antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity. Thus, aAPCs expressing mbIL21 promote improved proliferation of human NK cells with longer telomeres and less senescence, supporting their clinical use in propagating NK cells for adoptive immunotherapy.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30264. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Genetically modified T cells targeting interleukin-11 receptor α-chain kill human osteosarcoma cells and induce the regression of established osteosarcoma lung metastases.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The treatment of osteosarcoma pulmonary metastases remains a challenge. T cells genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), which recognizes a tumor-associated antigen, have shown activity against hematopoietic malignancies in clinical trials, but this requires the identification of a specific receptor on the tumor cell. In the current study, we found that interleukin (IL)-11Rα was selectively expressed on 14 of 16 osteosarcoma patients' lung metastases and four different human osteosarcoma cell lines, indicating that IL-11Rα may be a novel target for CAR-specific T-cell therapy. IL-11Rα expression was absent or low in normal organ tissues, with the exception of the gastrointestinal tract. IL-11Rα-CAR-specific T cells were obtained by non-viral gene transfer of Sleeping Beauty DNA plasmids and selectively expanded ex vivo using artificial antigen-presenting cells derived from IL-11Rα + K562 cells genetically modified to coexpress T-cell costimulatory molecules. IL-11Rα-CAR(+) T cells killed all four osteosarcoma cell lines in vitro; cytotoxicity correlated with the level of IL-11Rα expression on the tumor cells. Intravenous injection of IL-11Rα-CAR(+) T cells into mice resulted in the regression of osteosarcoma pulmonary metastases with no organ toxicity. Together, the data suggest that IL-11Rα-CAR T cells may represent a new therapy for patients with osteosarcoma pulmonary metastases.Cancer Research 11/2011; 72(1):271-81. · 7.86 Impact Factor
Article: Redirecting T cells to Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors by a chimeric NKG2D receptor expressed by lentiviral transduction or mRNA transfection.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We explored the possibility to target Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) by redirecting T cells. To this aim, we considered NKG2D-ligands (NKG2D-Ls) as possible target antigens. Detailed analysis of the expression of MICA, MICB, ULBP-1, -2, and -3 in fourteen ESFT cell lines revealed consistent expression of at least one NKG2D-L. Thus, for redirecting T cells, we fused a CD3ζ/CD28-derived signaling domain to the ectodomain of NKG2D, however, opposite transmembrane orientation of this signaling domain and NKG2D required inverse orientation fusion of either of them. We hypothesized that the particularly located C-terminus of the NKG2D ectodomain should allow reengineering of the membrane anchoring from a native N-terminal to an artificial C-terminal linkage. Indeed, the resulting chimeric NKG2D receptor (chNKG2D) was functional and efficiently mediated ESFT cell death triggered by activated T cells. Notably, ESFT cells with even low NKG2D-L expression were killed by CD8(pos) and also CD4(pos) cells. Both, mRNA transfection and lentiviral transduction resulted in high level surface expression of chNKG2D. However, upon target-cell recognition receptor surface levels were maintained by tranfected RNA only during the first couple of hours after transfection. Later, target-cell contact resulted in strong and irreversible receptor down-modulation, whereas lentivirally mediated expression of chNKG2D remained constant under these conditions. Together, our study defines NKG2D-Ls as targets for a CAR-mediated T cell based immunotherapy of ESFT. A comparison of two different methods of gene transfer reveals strong differences in the susceptibility to ligand-induced receptor down-modulation with possible implications for the applicability of RNA transfection.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31210. · 4.09 Impact Factor