Improved anti-leukemia activities of adoptively transferred T cells expressing bispecific T-cell engager in mice.

Research paper by X X Liu, D M DM Barrett, S S Jiang, C C Fang, M M Kalos, S A SA Grupp, C H CH June, Y Y Zhao

Indexed on: 04 Jun '16Published on: 04 Jun '16Published in: Blood Cancer Journal


Despite the impressive clinical efficacy of T cells engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-Ts), the current applications of CAR-T cell therapy are limited by major treatment-related toxicity. Thus, safer yet effective alternative approaches must be developed. In this study, we compared CD19 bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE)-transferred T cells that had been transfected by RNA electroporation with CD19 CAR RNA-transferred T cells both in vitro and in an aggressive Nalm6 leukemia mouse model. BiTEs were secreted from the transferred T cells and enabled both the transferred and bystander T cells to specifically recognize CD19(+) cell lines, with increased tumor killing ability, prolonged functional persistence, increased cytokine production and potent proliferation compared with the CAR-T cells. More interestingly, in comparison with CD3/CD28 bead-stimulated T cells, T cells that were expanded by a rapid T-cell expansion protocol (REP) showed enhanced anti-tumor activities for both CAR and BiTE RNA-electroporated T cells both in vitro and in a Nalm6 mouse model (P<0.01). Furthermore, the REP T cells with BiTE RNAs showed greater efficacy in the Nalm6 leukemia model compared with REP T cells with CAR RNA (P<0.05) and resulted in complete leukemia remission.