-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

4827 Engineering Off-the-Shelf Gamma Delta CAR T Cells for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 703. Cellular Immunotherapies: Basic and Translational: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Biological therapies, Translational Research, Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T Cell Therapies, Therapies
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Alka Dwivedi, PhD1, Lynn Fu2*, Chris Daniel Chien, Ph.D.2, Marie Pouzolles, Ph.D.2, Nirali N. Shah, M.D.2 and Naomi Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.2

1Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD
2Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CART) therapy has shown remarkable success in the treatment of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALL) and lymphomas. However, CART therapies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where 5-year survival rates are significantly lower than for B-ALL, are only in their infancy. CD33-CART have potent activity against AML in preclinical models and a first-in-child/first-in-human phase 1/2 CD33-CART clinical trial for AML is ongoing in the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCT03971799). Nonetheless, published outcomes suggest a modest efficacy of approximately 50% (Shahzad et al., Front Immunol 2023), highlighting the critical need to develop new strategies to improve CART accessibility and a more robust anti-AML response. We hypothesized that off-the-shelf gamma delta (γδ) CD33 CART cells could potentially overcome current challenges for the treatment of AML. γδ lineage T cells are unconventional lymphocytes whose functions are not restricted to MHC-mediated antigen presentation; they are primed for immediate responses, including tumor killing. Furthermore, allogeneic γδ T cells have the potential to induce robust anti-tumor cytotoxicity without causing graft versus host disease (GVHD).

Here, we generated γδ CAR T cells from healthy donor elutriated lymphocytes by activation with zoledronic acid and IL-2 for 7-14 days. Within 9 days post stimulation, the vast majority of lymphocytes were Vδ2+ and 30-40% were successfully transduced with a lentiviral CD33 CAR construct harboring the 4-1BB costimulatory domain. Importantly, and unlike conventional alpha beta (ab) T lymphocytes, >98% of these γδ CD33CAR T cells expressed IFNγ under basal conditions. This characteristic likely accounted for the efficient in vitro killing of AML cell lines by untransduced γδ T lymphocytes under conditions of high effector/target (E/T) ratios. While untransduced γδ T cells did not exhibit cytotoxicity following repeat AML stimulations, γδ CD33CAR T lymphocytes exhibited proficient in vitro cytotoxicity, with killing rates that were more rapid than those initiated by ab CD33 CART (Figure 1). These characteristics were associated with a prolonged metabolic activity of γδT cells; γδ CD33 CART expressed high levels of the GLUT1 glucose transporter for >14 days post activation whereas GLUT1 levels on ab CD33 CART returned to resting within 10 days. High GLUT1 levels were linked to efficient killing under conditions of basal glucose levels. Most notably, γδ CD33CAR T lymphocytes achieved high in vivo cytotoxicity, assessed using bioluminescent AML cell line xenografts in humanized NSG mice. Together, these data highlight the feasibility of generating allogeneic γδ CD33CART with a strong anti-AML cytotoxic response.

Disclosures: Shah: Immunoadoptive Cell Therapy Private Limited: Consultancy, Other: Scientific Advisory Board; VOR: Consultancy, Research Funding; CARGO: Consultancy; Lentigen: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH