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1.  Reduction of MDSCs with all-trans retinoic acid improves CAR therapy efficacy for sarcomas 
Cancer immunology research  2016;4(10):869-880.
Genetically engineered T cells expressing CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have shown impressive activity against B cell malignancies, and preliminary results suggest that T cells expressing a first generation disialoganglioside (GD2)-specific CAR can also provide clinical benefit in patients with neuroblastoma. We sought to assess the potential of GD2-CAR therapies to treat pediatric sarcomas. We observed that 18/18 (100%) of osteosarcomas, 2/15 (13%) of rhabdomyosarcomas, and 7/35 (20%) of Ewing sarcomas expressed GD2. T cells engineered to express a third generation GD2-CAR incorporating the 14g2a-scFv with the CD28, OX40, and CD3ζ signaling domains (14g2a.CD28.OX40.ζ) mediated efficient and comparable lysis of both GD2+ sarcoma and neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro. However in xenograft models, GD2-CAR T cells had no antitumor effect against GD2+ sarcoma, despite effectively controlling GD2+ neuroblastoma. We observed that pediatric sarcoma xenografts, but not neuroblastoma xenografts, induced large populations of monocytic and granulocytic murine myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that inhibited human CAR T-cell responses in vitro. Treatment of sarcoma-bearing mice with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) largely eradicated monocytic MDSCs and diminished the suppressive capacity of granulocytic MDSCs. Combined therapy using GD2-CAR T cells plus ATRA significantly improved antitumor efficacy against sarcoma xenografts. We conclude that retinoids provide a clinically accessible class of agents capable of diminishing the suppressive effects of MDSCs, and that co-administration of retinoids may enhance the efficacy of CAR therapies targeting solid tumors.
doi:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-15-0230
PMCID: PMC5050151  PMID: 27549124
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR); immunotherapy; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC); sarcoma; all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)
2.  Impact of Two Measures of Micrometastatic Disease on Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Ewing Sarcoma: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group 
Purpose
Flow cytometry and RT-PCR can detect occult Ewing sarcoma (ES) cells in the blood and bone marrow (BM). These techniques were used to evaluate the prognostic significance of micrometastatic disease in ES.
Experimental Design
Newly diagnosed patients with ES were enrolled on two prospective multi-center studies. In the flow cytometry cohort, patients were defined as “positive” for BM micrometastatic disease if their CD99+/CD45− values were above the upper limit in 22 control patients. In the PCR cohort, RT-PCR on blood or BM samples classified the patients as “positive” or “negative” for EWSR1/FLI1 translocations. The association between micrometastatic disease burden with clinical features and outcome was assessed. Co-expression of IGF-1R on detected tumor cells was performed in a subset of flow cytometry samples.
Results
The median total BM CD99+CD45− percent was 0.0012% (range 0–1.10%) in the flow cytometry cohort, with 14/109 (12.8%) of ES patients defined as “positive.” In the PCR cohort, 19.6% (44/225) patients were “positive” for any EWSR1/FLI1 translocation in blood or BM. There were no differences in baseline clinical features or event-free or overall survival between patients classified as “positive” vs. “negative” by either method. CD99+CD45− cells had significantly higher IGF-1R expression compared to CD45+ hematopoietic cells (mean geometric mean fluorescence intensity 982.7 vs. 190.9; p<0.001).
Conclusion
The detection of micrometastatic disease at initial diagnosis by flow cytometry or RT-PCR is not associated with outcome in newly diagnosed patients with ES. Flow cytometry provides a tool to characterize occult micrometastatic tumor cells for proteins of interest.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2516
PMCID: PMC4947459  PMID: 26861456
Ewing sarcoma; micrometastatic disease; survival; flow cytometry; polymerase chain reaction
3.  Current State of Pediatric Sarcoma Biology and Opportunities for Future Discovery: A Report from the Sarcoma Translational Research Workshop 
Cancer genetics  2016;209(5):182-194.
Sarcomas are a rare subgroup of pediatric cancers comprised of a variety of bone and soft-tissue tumors. While significant advances have been made in improving outcomes of patients with localized pediatric sarcomas since the addition of systemic chemotherapy to local control many decades ago, outcomes for patients with metastatic and relapsed sarcoma remain poor with few novel therapeutics identified to date. With the advent of new technologies to study cancer genomes, transcriptomes and epigenomes, our understanding of sarcoma biology has improved tremendously in a relatively short period of time. However, much remains to be accomplished in this arena especially with regard to translating all of this new knowledge to the bedside. To this end, a meeting was convened in Philadelphia, PA on April 18, 2015 sponsored by the QuadW foundation, Children’s Oncology Group and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer that brought together sarcoma clinicians and scientists from North America to review the current state of pediatric sarcoma biology and ongoing/planned genomics based clinical trials in an effort to identify and bridge knowledge gaps that continue to exist at the current time. At the conclusion of the workshop, three key objectives that would significantly further our understanding of sarcoma were identified and a proposal was put forward to develop an all-encompassing pediatric sarcoma biology protocol that would address these specific needs. This review summarizes the proceedings of the workshop.
doi:10.1016/j.cancergen.2016.03.004
PMCID: PMC5497490  PMID: 27132463
pediatric sarcoma; genomics; precision medicine; molecular profiling; patient derived xenografts; sarcoma biology
4.  Myeloid cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cell concentrates inhibit the expansion of chimeric antigen receptor T cells 
Cytotherapy  2016;18(7):893-901.
Background aims
Autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies have shown promising clinical outcomes, but T-cell yields have been variable. CD19- and GD2-CAR T-cell manufacturing records were reviewed to identify sources of variability.
Methods
CD19-CAR T cells were used to treat 43 patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoma and GD2-CAR T cells to treat eight patients with osteosarcoma and three with neuroblastoma. Both types of CAR T cells were manufactured using autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) concentrates and anti-CD3/CD28 beads for T-cell enrichment and simulation.
Results
A comparison of the first 6 GD2- and the first 22 CD19-CAR T-cell products manufactured revealed that GD2-CAR T-cell products contained fewer transduced cells than CD19-CAR T-cell products (147 ± 102 × 106 vs 1502 ± 1066 × 106; P = 0.0059), and their PBMC concentrates contained more monocytes (31.4 ± 12.4% vs 18.5 ± 13.7%; P = 0.019). Among the first 28 CD19-CAR T-cell products manufactured, four had poor expansion yielding less than 1 × 106 transduced T cells per kilogram. When PBMC concentrates from these four patients were compared with the 24 others, PBMC concentrates of poorly expanding products contained greater quantities of monocytes (39.8 ± 12.9% vs. 15.3 ± 10.8%, P = 0.0014). Among the patients whose CD19-CAR T cells expanded poorly, manufacturing for two patients was repeated using cryopreserved PBMC concentrates but incorporating a monocyte depleting plastic adherence step, and an adequate dose of CAR T cells was produced for both patients.
Conclusions
Variability in CAR T-cell expansion is due, at least in part, to the contamination of the starting PBMC concentrates with monocytes.
doi:10.1016/j.jcyt.2016.04.003
PMCID: PMC4898642  PMID: 27210719
acute lymphocytic leukemia; adoptive cellular therapy; chimeric antigen receptor T cells; CD19; GD2; osteosarcoma
5.  Elutriated lymphocytes for manufacturing chimeric antigen receptor T cells 
Background
Clinical trials of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells manufactured from autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) concentrates for the treatment of hematologic malignancies have been promising, but CAR T cell yields have been variable. This variability is due in part to the contamination of the PBMC concentrates with monocytes and granulocytes.
Methods
Counter-flow elutriation allows for the closed system separation of lymphocytes from monocytes and granulocytes. We investigated the use of PBMC concentrates enriched for lymphocytes using elutriation for manufacturing 8 CD19- and 5 GD2-CAR T cell products.
Results
When compared to PBMC concentrates, lymphocyte-enriched elutriation fractions contained greater proportions of CD3+ and CD56+ cells and reduced proportions of CD14+ and CD15+ cells. All 13 CAR T cell products manufactured using the elutriated lymphocytes yielded sufficient quantities of transduced CAR T cells to meet clinical dose criteria. The GD2-CAR T cell products contained significantly more T cells and transduced T cells than the CD19-CAR T cell products. A comparison of the yields of CAR T cells produced from elutriated lymphocytes with the yields of CAR T cells previous produced from cells isolated from PBMC concentrates by anti-CD3/CD28 bead selection or by anti-CD3/CD28 bead selection plus plastic adherence found that greater quantities of GD2-CAR T cells were produced from elutriated lymphocytes, but not CD19-CAR T cells.
Conclusions
Enrichment of PBMC concentrates for lymphocytes using elutriation increased the quantity of GD2-CAR T cells produced. These results provide further evidence that CAR T cell expansion is inhibited by monocytes and granulocytes.
doi:10.1186/s12967-017-1160-5
PMCID: PMC5353875  PMID: 28298232
Chimeric antigen receptor T cells; Cancer immunotherapy; Cellular therapy; T cells; Elutriation; Myeloid derived suppressor cells; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
6.  Activation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells promotes immunosuppression within the pre-metastatic niche 
Cancer research  2015;76(6):1335-1347.
Metastatic tumors have been shown to establish microenvironments in distant tissues that are permissive to disseminated tumor cells. Hematopoietic cells contribute to this microenvironment, yet the precise initiating events responsible for establishing the pre-metastatic niche remain unclear. Here, we tracked the developmental fate of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in tumor-bearing mice. We show that a distant primary tumor drives the expansion of HSPCs within the bone marrow and their mobilization to the bloodstream. Treatment of purified HSPCs cultured ex vivo with tumor-conditioned media induced their proliferation as well as their differentiation into immunosuppressive myeloid cells. We furthered tracked purified HSPCs in vivo and found they differentiated into myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in early metastatic sites of tumor-bearing mice. The number of CD11b+Ly6g+ cells in metastatic sites was significantly increased by HSPC mobilization and decreased if tumor-mediated mobilization was inhibited. Moreover, pharmacological mobilization of HSPCs increased metastasis, whereas depletion of Gr1+ cells abrogated the metastasis-promoting effects of HSPC mobilization. Finally, we detected elevated levels of HSPCs in the circulation of newly diagnosed cancer patients, which correlated with increased risk for metastatic progression. Taken together, our results highlight bone marrow activation as one of the earliest steps of the metastatic process and identify circulating HSPCs as potential clinical indicators of metastatic niche formation.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0204
PMCID: PMC4794356  PMID: 26719537
pre-metastatic niche; metastasis; hematopoiesis; stem cell
7.  Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Ipilimumab In Pediatric Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors 
Purpose
Ipilimumab is a first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor approved for treatment of metastatic melanoma but not studied in children until this phase 1 protocol.
Experimental Design
This study examined safety, pharmacokinetics, and immunogenicity, and immune correlates of ipilimumab administered to subjects ≤21 years old with recurrent or progressive solid tumors. Dose escalation cohorts received 1, 3, 5, or 10mg/m2 intravenously every 3 weeks in a 3 + 3 design. Response was assessed after 6 weeks and 12 weeks, and then every 3 months. Treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Results
Thirty-three patients received 72 doses of ipilimumab. Patients enrolled had melanoma (n=12), sarcoma (n=17), or other refractory solid tumors (n= 4). Immune-related adverse events included pancreatitis, pneumonitis, colitis, endocrinopathies, and transaminitis with dose-limiting toxicities observed at 5mg/kg and 10mg/kg dose levels. Pharmacokinetics revealed a half–life of 8-15 days. At day 21, subjects had increased levels of cycling T cells, but no change in regulatory T cell populations. Six subjects had confirmed stable disease for 4-10 cycles (melanoma, osteosarcoma, clear cell sarcoma, and synovial sarcoma).
Conclusions
Ipilimumab was safely administered to pediatric patients using management algorithms for immune-related toxicities. The spectrum of immune-related adverse events is similar to those described in adults; however, many of the pediatric toxicities were evident after a single dose. Although no objective tumor regressions were observed with ipilimumab as a single agent, subjects with immune related toxicities had an increased overall survival compared to those who showed no evidence of breaking tolerance.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0491
PMCID: PMC5027962  PMID: 26534966
Immunotherapy; Pediatric; melanoma; sarcoma; Checkpoint inhibitor
8.  Immunotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: from famine to feast 
Blood Advances  2016;1(3):265-269.
Publisher's Note: This article has a companion Point by Jabbour and Kantarjian.
Publisher's Note: Join in the discussion of these articles at Blood Advances Community Conversations.
doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2016000034
PMCID: PMC5737176
9.  31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one 
Lundqvist, Andreas | van Hoef, Vincent | Zhang, Xiaonan | Wennerberg, Erik | Lorent, Julie | Witt, Kristina | Sanz, Laia Masvidal | Liang, Shuo | Murray, Shannon | Larsson, Ola | Kiessling, Rolf | Mao, Yumeng | Sidhom, John-William | Bessell, Catherine A. | Havel, Jonathan | Schneck, Jonathan | Chan, Timothy A. | Sachsenmeier, Eliot | Woods, David | Berglund, Anders | Ramakrishnan, Rupal | Sodre, Andressa | Weber, Jeffrey | Zappasodi, Roberta | Li, Yanyun | Qi, Jingjing | Wong, Philip | Sirard, Cynthia | Postow, Michael | Newman, Walter | Koon, Henry | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Callahan, Margaret K. | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Merghoub, Taha | Lum, Lawrence G. | Choi, Minsig | Thakur, Archana | Deol, Abhinav | Dyson, Gregory | Shields, Anthony | Haymaker, Cara | Uemura, Marc | Murthy, Ravi | James, Marihella | Wang, Daqing | Brevard, Julie | Monaghan, Catherine | Swann, Suzanne | Geib, James | Cornfeld, Mark | Chunduru, Srinivas | Agrawal, Sudhir | Yee, Cassian | Wargo, Jennifer | Patel, Sapna P. | Amaria, Rodabe | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Woodman, Scott | Hwu, Wen-Jen | Davies, Michael A. | Hwu, Patrick | Overwijk, Willem W. | Bernatchez, Chantale | Diab, Adi | Massarelli, Erminia | Segal, Neil H. | Ribrag, Vincent | Melero, Ignacio | Gangadhar, Tara C. | Urba, Walter | Schadendorf, Dirk | Ferris, Robert L. | Houot, Roch | Morschhauser, Franck | Logan, Theodore | Luke, Jason J. | Sharfman, William | Barlesi, Fabrice | Ott, Patrick A. | Mansi, Laura | Kummar, Shivaani | Salles, Gilles | Carpio, Cecilia | Meier, Roland | Krishnan, Suba | McDonald, Dan | Maurer, Matthew | Gu, Xuemin | Neely, Jaclyn | Suryawanshi, Satyendra | Levy, Ronald | Khushalani, Nikhil | Wu, Jennifer | Zhang, Jinyu | Basher, Fahmin | Rubinstein, Mark | Bucsek, Mark | Qiao, Guanxi | MacDonald, Cameron | Hylander, Bonnie | Repasky, Elizabeth | Chatterjee, Shilpak | Daenthanasanmak, Anusara | Chakraborty, Paramita | Toth, Kyle | Meek, Megan | Garrett-Mayer, Elizabeth | Nishimura, Michael | Paulos, Chrystal | Beeson, Craig | Yu, Xuezhong | Mehrotra, Shikhar | Zhao, Fei | Evans, Kathy | Xiao, Christine | Holtzhausen, Alisha | Hanks, Brent A. | Scharping, Nicole | Menk, Ashley V. | Moreci, Rebecca | Whetstone, Ryan | Dadey, Rebekah | Watkins, Simon | Ferris, Robert | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Peled, Jonathan | Devlin, Sean | Staffas, Anna | Lumish, Melissa | Rodriguez, Kori Porosnicu | Ahr, Katya | Perales, Miguel | Giralt, Sergio | Taur, Ying | Pamer, Eric | van den Brink, Marcel R. M. | Jenq, Robert | Annels, Nicola | Pandha, Hardev | Simpson, Guy | Mostafid, Hugh | Harrington, Kevin | Melcher, Alan | Grose, Mark | Davies, Bronwyn | Au, Gough | Karpathy, Roberta | Shafren, Darren | Ricca, Jacob | Merghoub, Taha | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Zamarin, Dmitriy | Batista, Luciana | Marliot, Florence | Vasaturo, Angela | Carpentier, Sabrina | Poggionovo, Cécile | Frayssinet, Véronique | Fieschi, Jacques | Van den Eynde, Marc | Pagès, Franck | Galon, Jérôme | Hermitte, Fabienne | Smith, Sean G. | Nguyen, Khue | Ravindranathan, Sruthi | Koppolu, Bhanu | Zaharoff, David | Schvartsman, Gustavo | Bassett, Roland | McQuade, Jennifer L. | Haydu, Lauren E. | Davies, Michael A. | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Kline, Douglas | Chen, Xiufen | Fosco, Dominick | Kline, Justin | Overacre, Abigail | Chikina, Maria | Brunazzi, Erin | Shayan, Gulidanna | Horne, William | Kolls, Jay | Ferris, Robert L. | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Bruno, Tullia C. | Workman, Creg | Vignali, Dario | Adusumilli, Prasad S. | Ansa-Addo, Ephraim A | Li, Zihai | Gerry, Andrew | Sanderson, Joseph P. | Howe, Karen | Docta, Roslin | Gao, Qian | Bagg, Eleanor A. L. | Tribble, Nicholas | Maroto, Miguel | Betts, Gareth | Bath, Natalie | Melchiori, Luca | Lowther, Daniel E. | Ramachandran, Indu | Kari, Gabor | Basu, Samik | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Chagin, Karen | Pandite, Lini | Holdich, Tom | Amado, Rafael | Zhang, Hua | Glod, John | Bernstein, Donna | Jakobsen, Bent | Mackall, Crystal | Wong, Ryan | Silk, Jonathan D. | Adams, Katherine | Hamilton, Garth | Bennett, Alan D. | Brett, Sara | Jing, Junping | Quattrini, Adriano | Saini, Manoj | Wiedermann, Guy | Gerry, Andrew | Jakobsen, Bent | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Brewer, Joanna | Duong, MyLinh | Lu, An | Chang, Peter | Mahendravada, Aruna | Shinners, Nicholas | Slawin, Kevin | Spencer, David M. | Foster, Aaron E. | Bayle, J. Henri | Bergamaschi, Cristina | Ng, Sinnie Sin Man | Nagy, Bethany | Jensen, Shawn | Hu, Xintao | Alicea, Candido | Fox, Bernard | Felber, Barbara | Pavlakis, George | Chacon, Jessica | Yamamoto, Tori | Garrabrant, Thomas | Cortina, Luis | Powell, Daniel J. | Donia, Marco | Kjeldsen, Julie Westerlin | Andersen, Rikke | Westergaard, Marie Christine Wulff | Bianchi, Valentina | Legut, Mateusz | Attaf, Meriem | Dolton, Garry | Szomolay, Barbara | Ott, Sascha | Lyngaa, Rikke | Hadrup, Sine Reker | Sewell, Andrew Kelvin | Svane, Inge Marie | Fan, Aaron | Kumai, Takumi | Celis, Esteban | Frank, Ian | Stramer, Amanda | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wardell, Seth | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Goff, Stephanie L. | Zacharakis, Nikolaos | Assadipour, Yasmine | Prickett, Todd D. | Gartner, Jared J. | Somerville, Robert | Black, Mary | Xu, Hui | Chinnasamy, Harshini | Kriley, Isaac | Lu, Lily | Wunderlich, John | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven | Feldman, Steven A. | Trebska-McGowan, Kasia | Kriley, Isaac | Malekzadeh, Parisa | Payabyab, Eden | Sherry, Richard | Rosenberg, Steven | Goff, Stephanie L. | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Kopits, Charlene | Rabinovich, Brian | Lotze, Michael T. | Green, Daniel S. | Kamenyeva, Olena | Zoon, Kathryn C. | Annunziata, Christina M. | Hammill, Joanne | Helsen, Christopher | Aarts, Craig | Bramson, Jonathan | Harada, Yui | Yonemitsu, Yoshikazu | Helsen, Christopher | Hammill, Joanne | Mwawasi, Kenneth | Denisova, Galina | Bramson, Jonathan | Giri, Rajanish | Jin, Benjamin | Campbell, Tracy | Draper, Lindsey M. | Stevanovic, Sanja | Yu, Zhiya | Weissbrich, Bianca | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Trimble, Cornelia L. | Rosenberg, Steven | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Tsang, Kwong | Fantini, Massimo | Hodge, James W. | Fujii, Rika | Fernando, Ingrid | Jochems, Caroline | Heery, Christopher | Gulley, James | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Schlom, Jeffrey | Jing, Weiqing | Gershan, Jill | Blitzer, Grace | Weber, James | McOlash, Laura | Johnson, Bryon D. | Kiany, Simin | Gangxiong, Huang | Kleinerman, Eugenie S. | Klichinsky, Michael | Ruella, Marco | Shestova, Olga | Kenderian, Saad | Kim, Miriam | Scholler, John | June, Carl H. | Gill, Saar | Moogk, Duane | Zhong, Shi | Yu, Zhiya | Liadi, Ivan | Rittase, William | Fang, Victoria | Dougherty, Janna | Perez-Garcia, Arianne | Osman, Iman | Zhu, Cheng | Varadarajan, Navin | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Frey, Alan | Krogsgaard, Michelle | Landi, Daniel | Fousek, Kristen | Mukherjee, Malini | Shree, Ankita | Joseph, Sujith | Bielamowicz, Kevin | Byrd, Tiara | Ahmed, Nabil | Hegde, Meenakshi | Lee, Sylvia | Byrd, David | Thompson, John | Bhatia, Shailender | Tykodi, Scott | Delismon, Judy | Chu, Liz | Abdul-Alim, Siddiq | Ohanian, Arpy | DeVito, Anna Marie | Riddell, Stanley | Margolin, Kim | Magalhaes, Isabelle | Mattsson, Jonas | Uhlin, Michael | Nemoto, Satoshi | Villarroel, Patricio Pérez | Nakagawa, Ryosuke | Mule, James J. | Mailloux, Adam W. | Mata, Melinda | Nguyen, Phuong | Gerken, Claudia | DeRenzo, Christopher | Spencer, David M. | Gottschalk, Stephen | Mathieu, Mélissa | Pelletier, Sandy | Stagg, John | Turcotte, Simon | Minutolo, Nicholas | Sharma, Prannda | Tsourkas, Andrew | Powell, Daniel J. | Mockel-Tenbrinck, Nadine | Mauer, Daniela | Drechsel, Katharina | Barth, Carola | Freese, Katharina | Kolrep, Ulrike | Schult, Silke | Assenmacher, Mario | Kaiser, Andrew | Mullinax, John | Hall, MacLean | Le, Julie | Kodumudi, Krithika | Royster, Erica | Richards, Allison | Gonzalez, Ricardo | Sarnaik, Amod | Pilon-Thomas, Shari | Nielsen, Morten | Krarup-Hansen, Anders | Hovgaard, Dorrit | Petersen, Michael Mørk | Loya, Anand Chainsukh | Junker, Niels | Svane, Inge Marie | Rivas, Charlotte | Parihar, Robin | Gottschalk, Stephen | Rooney, Cliona M. | Qin, Haiying | Nguyen, Sang | Su, Paul | Burk, Chad | Duncan, Brynn | Kim, Bong-Hyun | Kohler, M. Eric | Fry, Terry | Rao, Arjun A. | Teyssier, Noam | Pfeil, Jacob | Sgourakis, Nikolaos | Salama, Sofie | Haussler, David | Richman, Sarah A. | Nunez-Cruz, Selene | Gershenson, Zack | Mourelatos, Zissimos | Barrett, David | Grupp, Stephan | Milone, Michael | Rodriguez-Garcia, Alba | Robinson, Matthew K. | Adams, Gregory P. | Powell, Daniel J. | Santos, João | Havunen, Riikka | Siurala, Mikko | Cervera-Carrascón, Víctor | Parviainen, Suvi | Antilla, Marjukka | Hemminki, Akseli | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Santiago, Laurelis | Chen, Jie Qing | Dai, Zhimin | Wardell, Seth | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Sha, Huizi | Su, Shu | Ding, Naiqing | Liu, Baorui | Stevanovic, Sanja | Pasetto, Anna | Helman, Sarah R. | Gartner, Jared J. | Prickett, Todd D. | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Bhatia, Shailender | Burgess, Melissa | Zhang, Hui | Lee, Tien | Klingemann, Hans | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Nghiem, Paul | Kirkwood, John M. | Rossi, John M. | Sherman, Marika | Xue, Allen | Shen, Yueh-wei | Navale, Lynn | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Kochenderfer, James N. | Bot, Adrian | Veerapathran, Anandaraman | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Stramer, Amanda | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wiener, Doris | Frank, Ian | Santiago, Laurelis | Rabinovich, Brian | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Waller, Edmund K. | Li, Jian-Ming | Petersen, Christopher | Blazar, Bruce R. | Li, Jingxia | Giver, Cynthia R. | Wang, Ziming | Grossenbacher, Steven K. | Sturgill, Ian | Canter, Robert J. | Murphy, William J. | Zhang, Congcong | Burger, Michael C. | Jennewein, Lukas | Waldmann, Anja | Mittelbronn, Michel | Tonn, Torsten | Steinbach, Joachim P. | Wels, Winfried S. | Williams, Jason B. | Zha, Yuanyuan | Gajewski, Thomas F. | Williams, LaTerrica C. | Krenciute, Giedre | Kalra, Mamta | Louis, Chrystal | Gottschalk, Stephen | Xin, Gang | Schauder, David | Jiang, Aimin | Joshi, Nikhil | Cui, Weiguo | Zeng, Xue | Menk, Ashley V. | Scharping, Nicole | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Zhao, Zeguo | Hamieh, Mohamad | Eyquem, Justin | Gunset, Gertrude | Bander, Neil | Sadelain, Michel | Askmyr, David | Abolhalaj, Milad | Lundberg, Kristina | Greiff, Lennart | Lindstedt, Malin | Angell, Helen K. | Kim, Kyoung-Mee | Kim, Seung-Tae | Kim, Sung | Sharpe, Alan D. | Ogden, Julia | Davenport, Anna | Hodgson, Darren R. | Barrett, Carl | Lee, Jeeyun | Kilgour, Elaine | Hanson, Jodi | Caspell, Richard | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ansari, Tameem | Schiller, Annemarie | Sundararaman, Srividya | Lehmann, Paul | Hanson, Jodi | Roen, Diana | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ayers, Mark | Levitan, Diane | Arreaza, Gladys | Liu, Fang | Mogg, Robin | Bang, Yung-Jue | O’Neil, Bert | Cristescu, Razvan | Friedlander, Philip | Wassman, Karl | Kyi, Chrisann | Oh, William | Bhardwaj, Nina | Bornschlegl, Svetlana | Gustafson, Michael P. | Gastineau, Dennis A. | Parney, Ian F. | Dietz, Allan B. | Carvajal-Hausdorf, Daniel | Mani, Nikita | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Schalper, Kurt | Rimm, David | Chang, Serena | Levy, Ronald | Kurland, John | Krishnan, Suba | Ahlers, Christoph Matthias | Jure-Kunkel, Maria | Cohen, Lewis | Maecker, Holden | Kohrt, Holbrook | Chen, Shuming | Crabill, George | Pritchard, Theresa | McMiller, Tracee | Pardoll, Drew | Pan, Fan | Topalian, Suzanne | Danaher, Patrick | Warren, Sarah | Dennis, Lucas | White, Andrew M. | D’Amico, Leonard | Geller, Melissa | Disis, Mary L. | Beechem, Joseph | Odunsi, Kunle | Fling, Steven | Derakhshandeh, Roshanak | Webb, Tonya J. | Dubois, Sigrid | Conlon, Kevin | Bryant, Bonita | Hsu, Jennifer | Beltran, Nancy | Müller, Jürgen | Waldmann, Thomas | Duhen, Rebekka | Duhen, Thomas | Thompson, Lucas | Montler, Ryan | Weinberg, Andrew | Kates, Max | Early, Brandon | Yusko, Erik | Schreiber, Taylor H. | Bivalacqua, Trinity J. | Ayers, Mark | Lunceford, Jared | Nebozhyn, Michael | Murphy, Erin | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Albright, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Kang, S. Peter | Shankaran, Veena | Piha-Paul, Sarina A. | Yearley, Jennifer | Seiwert, Tanguy | Ribas, Antoni | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Cristescu, Razvan | Mogg, Robin | Ayers, Mark | Albright, Andrew | Murphy, Erin | Yearley, Jennifer | Sher, Xinwei | Liu, Xiao Qiao | Nebozhyn, Michael | Lunceford, Jared | Joe, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Plimack, Elizabeth | Ott, Patrick A. | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Forrest-Hay, Alex | Guyre, Cheryl A. | Narumiya, Kohei | Delcommenne, Marc | Hirsch, Heather A. | Deshpande, Amit | Reeves, Jason | Shu, Jenny | Zi, Tong | Michaelson, Jennifer | Law, Debbie | Trehu, Elizabeth | Sathyanaryanan, Sriram | Hodkinson, Brendan P. | Hutnick, Natalie A. | Schaffer, Michael E. | Gormley, Michael | Hulett, Tyler | Jensen, Shawn | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Dubay, Christopher | Afentoulis, Michael | Reddy, Ashok | David, Larry | Fox, Bernard | Jayant, Kumar | Agrawal, Swati | Agrawal, Rajendra | Jeyakumar, Ghayathri | Kim, Seongho | Kim, Heejin | Silski, Cynthia | Suisham, Stacey | Heath, Elisabeth | Vaishampayan, Ulka | Vandeven, Natalie | Viller, Natasja Nielsen | O’Connor, Alison | Chen, Hui | Bossen, Bolette | Sievers, Eric | Uger, Robert | Nghiem, Paul | Johnson, Lisa | Kao, Hsiang-Fong | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Lai, Shu-Chuan | Wang, Chun-Wei | Ko, Jenq-Yuh | Lou, Pei-Jen | Lee, Tsai-Jan | Liu, Tsang-Wu | Hong, Ruey-Long | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Landis, Benjamin J. | Koegler, Sally | Hirsch, Brooke | Gianani, Roberto | Kim, Jeffrey | He, Ming-Xiao | Zhang, Bingqing | Su, Nan | Luo, Yuling | Ma, Xiao-Jun | Park, Emily | Kim, Dae Won | Copploa, Domenico | Kothari, Nishi | doo Chang, Young | Kim, Richard | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Knaus, Hanna A. | Berglund, Sofia | Hackl, Hubert | Karp, Judith E. | Gojo, Ivana | Luznik, Leo | Hong, Henoch S. | Koch, Sven D. | Scheel, Birgit | Gnad-Vogt, Ulrike | Kallen, Karl-Josef | Wiegand, Volker | Backert, Linus | Kohlbacher, Oliver | Hoerr, Ingmar | Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola | Billingsley, James M. | Koguchi, Yoshinobu | Conrad, Valerie | Miller, William | Gonzalez, Iliana | Poplonski, Tomasz | Meeuwsen, Tanisha | Howells-Ferreira, Ana | Rattray, Rogan | Campbell, Mary | Bifulco, Carlo | Dubay, Christopher | Bahjat, Keith | Curti, Brendan | Urba, Walter | Vetsika, E-K | Kallergi, G. | Aggouraki, Despoina | Lyristi, Z. | Katsarlinos, P. | Koinis, Filippos | Georgoulias, V. | Kotsakis, Athanasios | Martin, Nathan T. | Aeffner, Famke | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Cerkovnik, Logan | Pratte, Luke | Kim, Rebecca | Hirsch, Brooke | Krueger, Joseph | Gianani, Roberto | Martínez-Usatorre, Amaia | Jandus, Camilla | Donda, Alena | Carretero-Iglesia, Laura | Speiser, Daniel E. | Zehn, Dietmar | Rufer, Nathalie | Romero, Pedro | Panda, Anshuman | Mehnert, Janice | Hirshfield, Kim M. | Riedlinger, Greg | Damare, Sherri | Saunders, Tracie | Sokol, Levi | Stein, Mark | Poplin, Elizabeth | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Silk, Ann | Chan, Nancy | Frankel, Melissa | Kane, Michael | Malhotra, Jyoti | Aisner, Joseph | Kaufman, Howard L. | Ali, Siraj | Ross, Jeffrey | White, Eileen | Bhanot, Gyan | Ganesan, Shridar | Monette, Anne | Bergeron, Derek | Amor, Amira Ben | Meunier, Liliane | Caron, Christine | Morou, Antigoni | Kaufmann, Daniel | Liberman, Moishe | Jurisica, Igor | Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie | Hamzaoui, Kamel | Lapointe, Rejean | Mongan, Ann | Ku, Yuan-Chieh | Tom, Warren | Sun, Yongming | Pankov, Alex | Looney, Tim | Au-Young, Janice | Hyland, Fiona | Conroy, Jeff | Morrison, Carl | Glenn, Sean | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Gardner, Mark | Mongan, Ann | Omilian, Angela R. | Conroy, Jeff | Bshara, Wiam | Angela, Omilian | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Glenn, Sean | Morrison, Carl | Mongan, Ann | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Smolkin, Mark E. | Deacon, Donna H. | Patterson, James W. | Chen, Lieping | Bullock, Timothy N. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Deacon, Donna H. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Bullock, Timothy N. | Loffredo, John T. | Vuyyuru, Raja | Beyer, Sophie | Spires, Vanessa M. | Fox, Maxine | Ehrmann, Jon M. | Taylor, Katrina A. | Korman, Alan J. | Graziano, Robert F. | Page, David | Sanchez, Katherine | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Martel, Maritza | Bifulco, Carlo | Urba, Walter | Fox, Bernard | Patel, Sapna P. | De Macedo, Mariana Petaccia | Qin, Yong | Reuben, Alex | Spencer, Christine | Guindani, Michele | Bassett, Roland | Wargo, Jennifer | Racolta, Adriana | Kelly, Brian | Jones, Tobin | Polaske, Nathan | Theiss, Noah | Robida, Mark | Meridew, Jeffrey | Habensus, Iva | Zhang, Liping | Pestic-Dragovich, Lidija | Tang, Lei | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Logan, Theodore | Khushalani, Nikhil | Margolin, Kim | Koon, Henry | Olencki, Thomas | Hutson, Thomas | Curti, Brendan | Roder, Joanna | Blackmon, Shauna | Roder, Heinrich | Stewart, John | Amin, Asim | Ernstoff, Marc S. | Clark, Joseph I. | Atkins, Michael B. | Kaufman, Howard L. | Sosman, Jeffrey | Weber, Jeffrey | McDermott, David F. | Weber, Jeffrey | Kluger, Harriet | Halaban, Ruth | Snzol, Mario | Roder, Heinrich | Roder, Joanna | Asmellash, Senait | Steingrimsson, Arni | Blackmon, Shauna | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Wang, Chichung | Roman, Kristin | Clement, Amanda | Downing, Sean | Hoyt, Clifford | Harder, Nathalie | Schmidt, Guenter | Schoenmeyer, Ralf | Brieu, Nicolas | Yigitsoy, Mehmet | Madonna, Gabriele | Botti, Gerardo | Grimaldi, Antonio | Ascierto, Paolo A. | Huss, Ralf | Athelogou, Maria | Hessel, Harald | Harder, Nathalie | Buchner, Alexander | Schmidt, Guenter | Stief, Christian | Huss, Ralf | Binnig, Gerd | Kirchner, Thomas | Sellappan, Shankar | Thyparambil, Sheeno | Schwartz, Sarit | Cecchi, Fabiola | Nguyen, Andrew | Vaske, Charles | Hembrough, Todd
Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer  2016;4(Suppl 1):1-106.
doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0172-7
PMCID: PMC5123387
10.  CD19 CAR immune pressure induces B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia lineage switch exposing inherent leukaemic plasticity 
Nature Communications  2016;7:12320.
Adoptive immunotherapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) expressing T cells targeting the CD19 B lineage receptor has demonstrated marked success in relapsed pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Persisting CAR-T cells generate sustained pressure against CD19 that may drive unique mechanisms of resistance. Pre-B ALL originates from a committed pre-B cell or an earlier progenitor, with potential to reprogram into other hematopoietic lineages. Here we report changes in lineage markers including myeloid conversion in patients following CD19 CAR therapy. Using murine ALL models we study the long-term effects of CD19 CAR-T cells and demonstrate partial or complete lineage switch as a consistent mechanism of CAR resistance depending on the underlying genetic oncogenic driver. Deletion of Pax5 or Ebf1 recapitulates lineage reprogramming occurring during CD19 CAR pressure. Our findings establish lineage switch as a mechanism of CAR resistance exposing inherent plasticity in genetic subtypes of pre-B-cell ALL.
CAR-T targeting CD19 have been successfully used in a variety of B-cell malignancies but patients may eventually relapse. Here, the authors show that CD19 CAR-T resistance in pre-B cell ALL can be due to the induction of a myeloid lineage switch through an epigenetic alterations in master regulators of B cell development.
doi:10.1038/ncomms12320
PMCID: PMC4974466  PMID: 27460500
11.  Convergence of Acquired Mutations and Alternative Splicing of CD19 Enables Resistance to CART-19 Immunotherapy 
Cancer discovery  2015;5(12):1282-1295.
The CD19 antigen, expressed on most B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALL), can be targeted with chimeric antigen receptor–armed T cells (CART-19), but relapses with epitope loss occur in 10% to 20% of pediatric responders. We detected hemizygous deletions spanning the CD19 locus and de novo frameshift and missense mutations in exon 2 of CD19 in some relapse samples. However, we also discovered alternatively spliced CD19 mRNA species, including one lacking exon 2. Pull-down/siRNA experiments identified SRSF3 as a splicing factor involved in exon 2 retention, and its levels were lower in relapsed B-ALL. Using genome editing, we demonstrated that exon 2 skipping bypasses exon 2 mutations in B-ALL cells and allows expression of the N-terminally truncated CD19 variant, which fails to trigger killing by CART-19 but partly rescues defects associated with CD19 loss. Thus, this mechanism of resistance is based on a combination of deleterious mutations and ensuing selection for alternatively spliced RNA isoforms.
Significance
CART-19 yield 70% response rates in patients with B-ALL, but also produce escape variants. We discovered that the underlying mechanism is the selection for preexisting alternatively spliced CD19 isoforms with the compromised CART-19 epitope. This mechanism suggests a possibility of targeting alternative CD19 ectodomains, which could improve survival of patients with B-cell neoplasms.
doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-1020
PMCID: PMC4670800  PMID: 26516065
12.  Going Back to Class I: MHC and Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2014;62(4):571-576.
After decades of unfulfilled promise, immunotherapies for cancer have finally reached a tipping point, with several FDA approved products now on the market and many more showing promise in both adult and pediatric clinical trials. Tumor cell expression of MHC Class I has emerged as a potential determinant of the therapeutic success of many immunotherapy approaches. Here we review current knowledge regarding MHC Class I expression in pediatric cancers including a discussion of prognostic significance, the opposing influence of MHC on T-cell versus NK-mediated therapies, and strategies to reverse or circumvent MHC down-regulation.
doi:10.1002/pbc.25359
PMCID: PMC4339346  PMID: 25524394
MHC Class I; immunotherapy; childhood cancers
13.  4-1BB Costimulation Ameliorates T Cell Exhaustion Induced by Tonic Signaling of Chimeric Antigen Receptors 
Nature medicine  2015;21(6):581-590.
Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) targeting CD19 have mediated dramatic anti-tumor responses in hematologic malignancies, but tumor regression has rarely occurred using CARs targeting other antigens. It remains unknown whether the impressive effects of CD19 CARs relate to greater susceptibility of hematologic malignancies to CAR therapies, or superior functionality of the CD19 CAR itself. We discovered that tonic CAR CD3ζ phosphorylation, triggered by antigen-independent clustering of CAR scFvs, can induce early exhaustion of CAR T cells that limits anti-tumor efficacy. Such activation is present to varying degrees in all CARs studied, with the exception of the highly effective CD19 CAR. We further identify that CD28 costimulation augments, while 4-1BB costimulation ameliorates, exhaustion induced by persistent CAR signaling. Our results provide biological explanations for the dramatic anti-tumor effects of CD19 CARs and for the observations that CD19.BBz CAR T cells are more persistent than CD19.28z CAR T cells in clinical trials.
doi:10.1038/nm.3838
PMCID: PMC4458184  PMID: 25939063
15.  Mass spectrometry in cancer biomarker research: a case for immunodepletion of abundant blood-derived proteins from clinical tissue specimens 
Biomarkers in medicine  2014;8(2):269-286.
The discovery of clinically relevant cancer biomarkers using mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics has proven difficult, primarily because of the enormous dynamic range of blood-derived protein concentrations and the fact that the 22 most abundant blood-derived proteins constitute approximately 99% of the total plasma protein mass. Immunodepletion of clinical body fluid specimens (e.g., serum/plasma) for the removal of highly abundant proteins is a reasonable and reproducible solution. Often overlooked, clinical tissue specimens also contain a formidable amount of highly abundant blood-derived proteins present in tissue-embedded networks of blood/lymph capillaries and interstitial fluid. Hence, the dynamic range impediment to biomarker discovery remains a formidable obstacle, regardless of clinical sample type (solid tissue and/or body fluid). Thus, we optimized and applied simultaneous immunodepletion of blood-derived proteins from solid tissue and peripheral blood, using clear cell renal cell carcinoma as a model disease. Integrative analysis of data from this approach and genomic data obtained from the same type of tumor revealed concordant key pathways and protein targets germane to clear cell renal cell carcinoma. This includes the activation of the lipogenic pathway characterized by increased expression of adipophilin (PLIN2) along with 'cadherin switching', a phenomenon indicative of transcriptional reprogramming linked to renal epithelial dedifferentiation. We also applied immunodepletion of abundant blood-derived proteins to various tissue types (e.g., adipose tissue and breast tissue) showing unambiguously that the removal of abundant blood-derived proteins represents a powerful tool for the reproducible profiling of tissue proteomes. Herein, we show that the removal of abundant blood-derived proteins from solid tissue specimens is of equal importance to depletion of body fluids and recommend its routine use in the context of biological discovery and/or cancer biomarker research. Finally, this perspective presents the background, rationale and strategy for using tissue-directed high-resolution/accuracy MS-based shotgun proteomics to detect genuine tumor proteins in the peripheral blood of a patient diagnosed with nonmetastatic cancer, employing concurrent liquid chromatography–MS analysis of immunodepleted clinical tissue and blood specimens.
doi:10.2217/bmm.13.101
PMCID: PMC4201940  PMID: 24521024
blood; cancer biomarker discovery; clinical proteomics; clinical specimens; high-resolution/accurate LC-MS; immunoaffinity depletion; tissue
18.  A pan-inhibitor of DASH family enzymes induces immune-mediated regression of murine sarcoma and is a potent adjuvant to dendritic cell vaccination and adoptive T-cell therapy 
Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md. : 1997)  2013;36(8):10.1097/CJI.0b013e3182a80213.
Current multimodality therapy consisting of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation will fail in approximately 40% of patients with pediatric sarcomas and results in substantial long-term morbidity in those who are cured. Immunotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of solid tumors typically generate antigen-specific responses too weak to overcome considerable tumor burden and tumor suppressive mechanisms and are in need of adjuvant assistance. Previous work suggests that inhibitors of DASH (Dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity and/or structural homologues) enzymes can mediate tumor regression via immune-mediated mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that the DASH inhibitor, ARI-4175, can induce regression and eradication of well-established solid tumors, both as a single agent and as an adjuvant to a dendritic cell (DC) vaccine and adoptive cell therapy (ACT) in mice implanted with the M3-9-M rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cell line. Treatment with effective doses of ARI-4175 correlated with recruitment of myeloid (CD11b+) cells, particularly myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), to secondary lymphoid tissues and with reduced frequency of intratumoral monocytic (CD11b+Ly6-ChiLy6-Glo) myeloid-derived suppressor cells. In immunocompetent mice, combining ARI-4175 with a DC vaccine or ACT with tumor-primed T cells produced significant improvements in tumor responses against well-established M3-9-M tumors. In M3-9-M-bearing immunodeficient (Rag1-/-) mice, ACT combined with ARI-4175 produced greater tumor responses and significantly improved survival compared to either treatment alone. These studies warrant the clinical investigation of ARI-4175 for treatment of sarcomas and other malignancies particularly as an adjuvant to tumor vaccines and ACT.
doi:10.1097/CJI.0b013e3182a80213
PMCID: PMC3852174  PMID: 23994886
19.  Simplified process for the production of anti-CD19-CAR engineered T cells 
Cytotherapy  2013;15(11):1406-1415.
Background
Adoptive Immunotherapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T cells specific for CD19 has shown promising results for the treatment of B cell lymphomas and leukemia. This therapy involves the transduction of autologous T cells with a viral vector and the subsequent cell expansion. Here, we describe a new, simplified method to produce anti-CD19-CAR T cells.
Methods
T cells were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 paramagnetic beads. After 2 days, the T cells were added to culture bags pre-treated with RetroNectin and loaded with the retroviral anti-CD19 CAR vector. The cells, beads and vector were incubated for 24 hours and then a second transduction was performed. No spinoculation was used. Cells were then expanded for an additional 9 days.
Results
The method was validated using 2 PBMC products from a patient with B-CLL and one PBMC product from a healthy subject. The 2 PBMC products from the B-CLL patient contained 11.4% and 12.9% T cells. The manufacture process led to final products highly enriched in T cells with a mean CD3+ cell content of 98%, a mean expansion of 10.6 fold and a mean transduction efficiency of 68%. Similar results were obtained from the PBMCs of the first 4 ALL patients treated at our institution.
Discussion
We developed a simplified semi-closed system for the initial selection, activation, transduction and expansion of T cells using anti-CD3/anti-CD28 beads and bags, to produce autologous anti-CD19 CAR transduced T cells to support an ongoing clinical trial.
doi:10.1016/j.jcyt.2013.06.003
PMCID: PMC4141724  PMID: 23992830
Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy; CD19 Antigen; Genetic Engineering; Genetic Transduction; Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
20.  The Future Is Now: Chimeric Antigen Receptors as New Targeted Therapies for Childhood Cancer 
Improved outcomes for children with cancer hinge on the development of new targeted therapies with acceptable short-term and long-term toxicity. Progress in basic, preclinical, and clinical arenas spanning cellular immunology, gene therapy, and cell-processing technologies have paved the way for clinical applications of chimeric antigen receptor-based therapies. This is a new form of targeted immunotherapy that merges the exquisite targeting specificity of monoclonal antibodies with the potent cytotoxicity, potential for expansion, and long-term persistence provided by cytotoxic T cells. Although this field is still in its infancy, clinical trials have already shown clinically significant antitumor activity in neuroblastoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and B-cell lymphoma, and trials targeting a variety of other adult and pediatric malignancies are under way. Ongoing work is focused on identifying optimal tumor targets and elucidating and manipulating both cell- and host-associated factors to support expansion and persistence of the genetically engineered cells in vivo. In pediatric oncology, CD 19 and GD2 are compelling antigens that have already been identified for targeting pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia and neuroblastoma, respectively, with this approach, but it is likely that other antigens expressed in a variety of childhood cancers will also soon be targeted using this therapy. The potential to target essentially any tumor-associated cell-surface antigen for which a monoclonal antibody can be made opens up an entirely new arena for targeted therapy of childhood cancer.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1920
PMCID: PMC4119811  PMID: 22589486
21.  Bioinformatic Description of Immunotherapy Targets for Pediatric T-Cell Leukemia and the Impact of Normal Gene Sets Used for Comparison 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:134.
Pediatric lymphoid leukemia has the highest cure rate of all pediatric malignancies, yet due to its prevalence, still accounts for the majority of childhood cancer deaths and requires long-term highly toxic therapy. The ability to target B-cell ALL with immunoglobulin-like binders, whether anti-CD22 antibody or anti-CD19 CAR-Ts, has impacted treatment options for some patients. The development of new ways to target B-cell antigens continues at rapid pace. T-cell ALL accounts for up to 20% of childhood leukemia but has yet to see a set of high-value immunotherapeutic targets identified. To find new targets for T-ALL immunotherapy, we employed a bioinformatic comparison to broad normal tissue arrays, hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), and mature lymphocytes, then filtered the results for transcripts encoding plasma membrane proteins. T-ALL bears a core T-cell signature and transcripts encoding TCR/CD3 components and canonical markers of T-cell development predominate, especially when comparison was made to normal tissue or HSC. However, when comparison to mature lymphocytes was also undertaken, we identified two antigens that may drive, or be associated with leukemogenesis; TALLA-1 and hedgehog interacting protein. In addition, TCR subfamilies, CD1, activation and adhesion markers, membrane-organizing molecules, and receptors linked to metabolism and inflammation were also identified. Of these, only CD52, CD37, and CD98 are currently being targeted clinically. This work provides a set of targets to be considered for future development of immunotherapies for T-ALL.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2014.00134
PMCID: PMC4050364  PMID: 24959420
immunotherapy; chimeric antigen receptors; antibody therapy; adoptive immunotherapy; pediatric leukemia; T-ALL; TALLA-1; HHIP
22.  Phase I Trial and Pharmacokinetic Study of Lexatumumab in Pediatric Patients With Solid Tumors 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(33):4141-4147.
Purpose
Lexatumumab is an agonistic, fully human monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 with preclinical evidence of activity in pediatric solid tumors.
Patients and Methods
This phase I dose-escalation study examined the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and immunogenicity of lexatumumab at doses up to, but not exceeding, the adult maximum-tolerated dose (3, 5, 8, and 10 mg/kg), administered once every 2 weeks to patients age ≤ 21 years with recurrent or progressive solid tumors.
Results
Twenty-four patients received a total of 56 cycles of lexatumumab over all four planned dose levels. One patient had grade 2 pericarditis consistent with radiation recall, and one patient developed grade 3 pneumonia with hypoxia during the second cycle. Five patients experienced stable disease for three to 24 cycles. No patients experienced complete or partial response, but several showed evidence of antitumor activity, including one patient with recurrent progressive osteosarcoma who experienced resolution of clinical symptoms and positron emission tomography activity, ongoing more than 1 year off therapy. One patient with hepatoblastoma showed a dramatic biomarker response.
Conclusion
Pediatric patients tolerate 10 mg/kg of lexatumumab administered once every 14 days, the maximum-tolerated dose identified in adults. The drug seems to mediate some clinical activity in pediatric solid tumors and may work with radiation to enhance antitumor effects.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.44.1055
PMCID: PMC3494837  PMID: 23071222

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