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473 High Effectiveness and Safety of Anti-CD7 CAR T-Cell Therapy in Treating Relapsed or Refractory (R/R) T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL)

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 704. Cellular Immunotherapies: Cellular Therapies for ALL
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Clinical Trials, Lymphoid Leukemias, ALL, Biological, Clinical Research, Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T Cell Therapies, Diseases, Therapies, Immunotherapy, Lymphoid Malignancies, Infusion
Sunday, December 12, 2021: 1:00 PM

Junfang Yang1,2*, Xian Zhang1,2, Ying Liu3*, Xiao Yang1*, Hui Wang, MD1,2*, Lin Wang, MSc3*, Jianqiang Li, PhD3 and Peihua Lu, MD1,2,4

1Beijing Lu Daopei Institute of Hematology, Beijing, China
2Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Langfang, China
3Hebei Senlang Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Shijiazhuang, China
4Department of Oncology, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Background

Compared with the substantial efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy that has achieved in B-ALL, whether CAR-T therapy is effective and safe for patients with T-ALL is still being explored in early stage clinical trials. Here, we present outcomes from our phase 1 clinical trial of CD7-targeting CAR-T (CD7CAR) cells therapy for R/R T-ALL (NCT04572308).

Methods

Peripheral blood (PB) mononuclear cells were obtained by leukapheresis. T cells were separated and transduced with lentivirus. The second-generation CD7CAR is composed of an anti-CD7 single-chain antibody, a IgG4 hinge region, a CD28TM transmembrane domain, an intracellular co-stimulatory domain of 4-1BB and CD3ζ, and the truncated EGFR protein linked by T2A. All patients received intravenous fludarabine (30 mg/m2/d) and cyclophosphamide (300 mg/m2/d) for 3 days prior to CD7CAR infusion.

Results

Seventeen R/R T-ALL patients were enrolled between December 2020 and June 2021. Characteristics of patients are shown in Table 1. Data from 14 patients with a median age of 17 years (range: 3-42 years) were available for evaluation. The rest 3 patients were withdrawn from study within 14 days due to rapid disease progression. High-risk subtype patients enrolled including 1 with Ph-positive T-ALL and 3 with early T-cell precursor (ETP)-ALL. Seven of the 14 patients also had high-risk genotypes, namely SIL-TAL1, EZH2, TP53, RUNX1, BCR-ABL, JAK1 and JAK3. At enrollment, the median percentage of bone marrow (BM) blasts was 11.53% (range: 0.18%-65.03%), and 5 of 14 patients had extramedullary involvements, including optic nerve involvement (N=2), central nervous system leukemia (N=3), diffuse extramedullary involvements (N=2), and bulky lymph nodes in the neck (N=1). Patients were heavily pretreated with a median of 5 prior lines of therapies (range: 3-8 lines) and three relapsed from prior allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT).

CD7CAR-T cells were 100% successfully manufactured with a transfection efficiency of 93.8% (range: 59.6%-99.9%). Twelve of 14 participants received bridging chemotherapy. A single dose of CD7CAR-T cells was infused to patients, with 2 receiving a low-dose (0.5x105 cells/kg), 11 receiving a medium dose (1-1.5x106 cells/kg) and 1 receiving a high-dose (2x106 cells/kg).

By the data cutoff date (July 12, 2021), the median follow-up time was 105 days (range: 32-206 days, Fig.1A). By day 28 post infusion, 92.9% (13/14) of patients achieved complete remission (CR, N=4) or CR with incomplete hematological recovery (CRi, N=9) in their BM, with all 13 patients achieving minimal residual disease (MRD) negative CR/CRi. Additionally, 4/5 patients with extramedullary involvement also achieved extramedullary remission at a median of day 32 (range: 28-90 days) post infusion. Consolidation allo-HSCT was permitted at the treatment physician's discretion and the patient's preference. A total of 11/14 patients were bridged to consolidation allo-HSCT at a median of 57 days post CD7CAR infusion, of which 9 patients have remained MRD-negative CR/CRi. One patient who had allo-HSCT prior to CD7CAR infusion died following a second haplo-HSCT due to acute graft-versus-host disease. Of the other 3 patients who were not bridged to allo-HSCT, 1 patient relapsed on day 28 due to rapid disease progression after initial CRi on day 14. Thirteen of 14 patients experienced mild CRS (Grade ≤2). One patient had Grade 3 CRS. The median time to onset of CRS was 1 day (range: 0-11 days), with a median duration of 14 days (range: 3-25 days). Neurotoxicity (Grade 1) occurred in only 1 patient.

After infusion, the median peak of CAR-T copy number was 2.38 ×105 copies/µg DNA (range: 0.2-6.67 ×105 copies/µg DNA), which occurred on day 20 (range: 10-42 days, Fig.1B). Importantly, CD7CAR persisted well in PB at a median of 52.5 days (range:20-120 days) at last evaluation regardless of transplantation status. Maximum proportion of CD7CAR-T cells proliferation reached 84.95% by flow cytometry (Fig.1C).

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate that CD7CAR therapy is safe and highly effective in treating patients with heavily pretreated R/R T-ALL, including those with extramedullary involvements, a history of prior allo-HSCT or with high-risk subtypes. More patients and a longer observation time are needed to further evaluate the potential beneficial advantages and side effects of CD7CAR therapy for T-ALL patients.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH