Disease relapse is a barrier to achieving therapeutic success after unrelated umbilical cord-blood transplantation (UCBT) for B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). While adoptive transfer of donor-derived tumor-specific T cells is a conceptually attractive approach to eliminating residual disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, adoptive immunotherapy after UCBT is constrained by the difficulty of generating antigen-specific T cells from functionally naive umbilical cord-blood (UCB)-derived T cells. Therefore, to generate T cells that recognize B-ALL, we have developed a chimeric immunoreceptor to redirect the specificity of T cells for CD19, a B-lineage antigen, and expressed this transgene in UCB-derived T cells. An ex vivo process, which is compliant with current good manufacturing practice for T-cell trials, has been developed to genetically modify and numerically expand UCB-derived T cells into CD19-specific effector cells. These are capable of CD19-restricted cytokine production and cytolysis in vitro, as well as mediating regression of CD19+ tumor and being selectively eliminated in vivo. Moreover, time-lapse microscopy of the genetically modified T-cell clones revealed an ability to lyse CD19+ tumor cells specifically and repetitively. These data provide the rationale for infusing UCB-derived CD19-specific T cells after UCBT to reduce the incidence of CD19+ B-ALL relapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology