Anti-myeloma efficacy of CAR-iNKT is enhanced with a long-acting IL-7, rhIL-7-hyFc

Julie O’Neal, Matthew L. Cooper, Julie K. Ritchey, Susan Gladney, Jessica Niswonger, L. Sofía González, Emily Street, Gabriel J. Haas, Alun Carter, Parmeshwar N. Amayta, Feng Gao, Byung Ha Lee, Donghoon Choi, Melissa Berrien-Elliott, Alice Zhou, Todd A. Fehniger, Mike P. Rettig, John F. DiPersio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple myeloma (MM), a malignancy of mature plasma cells, remains incurable. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is the lead protein target for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy because of its high expression in most MM, with limited expression in other cell types, resulting in favorable on-target, off tumor toxicity. The response rate to autologous BCMA CART therapy is high; however, it is not curative and is associated with risks of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell–associated neurotoxicity syndrome. Outcomes in patients treated with BCMA CAR-T cells (CAR-Ts) may improve with allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, which offer higher cell fitness and reduced time to treatment. However, to prevent the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), allogenic BCMA CAR-Ts require genetic deletion of the T-cell receptor (TCR), which has potential for unexpected functional or phenotype changes. Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKTs) have an invariant TCR that does not cause GVHD and, as a result, can be used in an allogeneic setting without the need for TCR gene editing. We demonstrate significant anti-myeloma activity of BCMA CAR-iNKTs in a xenograft mouse model of myeloma. We found that a long-acting interleukin-7 (IL-7), rhIL-7-hyFc, significantly prolonged survival and reduced tumor burden in BCMA CAR-iNKT–treated mice in both primary and re-challenge settings. Furthermore, in CRS in vitro assays, CAR-iNKTs induced less IL-6 than CAR-Ts, suggesting a reduced likelihood of CAR-iNKT therapy to induce CRS in patients. These data suggest that BCMA CAR-iNKTs are potentially a safer, effective alternative to BCMA CAR-Ts and that BCMA CAR-iNKT efficacy is further potentiated with rhIL-7-hyFc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6009-6022
Number of pages14
JournalBlood Advances
Volume7
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 24 2023

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