Session: 617. Acute Myeloid Leukemias: Biomarkers, Molecular Markers and Minimal Residual Disease in Diagnosis and Prognosis: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Acute Myeloid Malignancies, AML, Biological therapies, adult, Translational Research, assays, Diseases, Therapies, computational biology, Myeloid Malignancies, Monoclonal Antibody Therapy, Technology and Procedures, Study Population, Human, omics technologies
Acute Myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease that requires novel targeted treatment options tailored to the patients’ specific microenvironment and blast phenotype. CD25 Mab (also referred to as RG6292 and RO7296682) is an afucosylated, IL-2 non-blocking human IgG1 antibody, shown to efficiently deplete immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) in humans and solid tumour models (Kolben 2021) whilst allowing binding of IL-2 to effector T cells and the induction of anti-tumour adaptive immune responses (Solomon, Amann et al. 2020). CD25 Mab binds to CD25+ target cells and its crystallisable fragment (Fc) to Fc receptors (FcR) expressed on the surface of effector cells, such as FcgRIIIa on Natural Killer (NK) cells, monocytes and macrophages. It mediates killing of target cells through antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP). CD25 Mab is currently being investigated in a phase I dose escalation monotherapy study (NCT04158583) or in combination with atezolizumab (NCT04642365).
In AML patients, a higher frequency of immunosuppressive bone marrow Tregs was observed as compared to that of healthy donors and their abundance correlated with poorer outcome (Szczepanski, Szajnik et al. 2009, Han, Dong et al. 2018, Dong, Han et al. 2020). In addition, CD25 is also expressed on a subset of AML cells and may be restricted to leukemic stem cells (LSC) or cells with a progenitor phenotype (Angelini, Ottone et al. 2015, Bertolini, Kageyama et al. 2018, Aref, Azmy et al. 2020). Considering the critical role of LSC in the propagation of the disease and the high relapse rate in AML, it would be important to understand if CD25 targeting could deepen responses and help prevent relapse in patients. In this study, we hypothesized that CD25 Mab may have a dual mode of action whereby it depletes suppressive Tregs and has a direct cytotoxic effect on CD25+ AML cells.
We conducted an in-depth characterization of bone marrow and/or blood samples of 37 AML patients and healthy donors by high dimensional flow cytometry (up to 39 cellular markers) and RNA sequencing using computational analysis. Moreover, we performed ex vivo ADCC assays using allogeneic NK cells isolated from healthy donors and AML patient material to test the cytotoxic potential of CD25 Mab on Tregs and CD25+ AML cells, as compared to isotype control antibody.
We found that the abundance of Tregs and CD25+ AML cells correlated strongly with that of the blood in 11 patients with time-matched samples, indicating that blood samples could be used for the identification of predictive biomarkers. Moreover, we observed a strong enrichment in the prevalence of CD25 expressing AML cells in patients bearing internal tandem duplication mutations in the FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD). Furthermore, all four patients treated with a hypomethylating agent in combination with venetoclax displayed detectable levels of CD25+ AML cells. We adopted a patient-centric approach (n=14 patients) to study AML clusters with CD25 expression, due to the high inter-patient heterogeneity. Interestingly, CD25+ clusters most commonly expressed CD34, an LSC marker indicating a preferential expression in immature AML cells. Finally, ex vivo treatment of primary AML patient samples with CD25 Mab led to the specific killing of CD25+ AML cells and Tregs by allogeneic NK cells, as compared to isotype control treatment. Taken together, these results provide a proof of concept of CD25 Mab’s dual mode of action in AML patient samples.
Using high dimensional flow cytometry and computational analysis, we provide a deep characterization of AML patient samples and highlight the heterogeneity in the pattern of expression of common AML targets currently under clinical investigation. We dissected the expression of CD25 on healthy T cells and malignant cells and demonstrated that the blood offers a window into the bone marrow composition and could be used to ascertain Treg and CD25+ AML cells prevalence. Mode of action studies demonstrated that CD25 Mab depletes suppressive Tregs and has a direct cytotoxic effect on the CD25+ AML cells. CD25 targeting represents an attractive target for the treatment of AML, especially in patients where CD25 is expressed on LSC or immature AML cells. Our study warrants further exploration of CD25 Mab as combinatorial treatment with, for instance, FLT3 inhibitors or venetoclax.
Disclosures: Pousse: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Patents & Royalties. Medeiros: Genentech: Ended employment in the past 24 months, Patents & Royalties. Korfi: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Berrera: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Kumpesa: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Griesser: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Eckmann: Roche: Current Employment; Roche Diagnostics GmbH: Current Employment; Roche: Current equity holder in private company. Karanikas: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Patents & Royalties. Klein: Roche Glycart AG: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Patents & Royalties. Amann: Roche: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Patents & Royalties.
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