T-cell malignancies are associated with frequent relapse and high morbidity, which is partly due to the lack of effective or targeted treatment options. To broaden the use of CAR-T cells in pan T-cell malignancies, we developed an allogeneic “universal” CD2-targeting CAR-T cell (UCART2), in which the CD2 antigen is deleted to prevent fratricide, and the T-cell receptor is removed to prevent GvHD. UCART2 demonstrated efficacy against T-ALL and CTCL and prolonged the survival of tumor-engrafted NSG mice in vivo. To evaluate the impact of CD2 on CAR-T function, we generated CD19 CAR-T cells (UCART19) with or without CD2 deletion, single-cell secretome analysis revealed that CD2 deletion in UCART19 reduced frequencies of the effector cytokines (Granzyme-B and IFN-γ). We also observed that UCART19ΔCD2 had reduced anti-tumor efficacy compared to UCART19 in a CD19+NALM6 xenograft model. Of note is that the reduced efficacy resulting from CD2 deletion was reversed when combined with rhIL-7-hyFc, a long-acting recombinant human interleukin-7. Treatment with rhIL-7-hyFc prolonged UCART2 persistence and increased survival in both the tumor re-challenge model and primary patient T-ALL model in vivo. Together, these data suggest that allogeneic fratricide-resistant UCART2, in combination with rhIL-7-hyFc, could be a suitable approach for treating T-cell malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2448-2456
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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