A phase I/IIa trial using CD19-targeted third-generation CAR T cells for lymphoma and leukemia

Gunilla Enblad, Hannah Karlsson, Gustav Gammelgård, Jessica Wenthe, Tanja Lövgren, Rose Marie Amini, Kristina I. Wikstrom, Magnus Essand, Barbara Savoldo, Helene Hallböök, Martin Höglund, Gianpietro Dotti, Malcolm Brenner, Hans Hagberg, Angelica Loskog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Purpose: The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has been effective for patients with CD19þ B-cell malignancies. Most studies have investigated the second-generation CARs with either CD28 or 4-1BB costimulatory domains in the CAR receptor. Here, we describe the first clinical phase I/IIa trial using third-generation CAR T cells targeting CD19 to evaluate safety and efficacy. Patients and Methods: Fifteen patients with B-cell lymphoma or leukemia were treated with CAR T cells. The patients with lymphoma received chemotherapy during CAR manufacture and 11 of 15 were given low-dose cyclophosphamide and fludarabine conditioning prior to CAR infusion. Peripheral blood was sampled before and at multiple time points after CAR infusion to evaluate the persistence of CAR T cells and for immune profiling, using quantitative PCR, flow cytometry, and a proteomic array. Results: Treatment with third-generation CAR T cells was generally safe with 4 patients requiring hospitalization due to adverse reactions. Six of the 15 patients had initial complete responses [4/11 lymphoma and 2/4 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)], and 3 of the patients with lymphoma were in remission at 3 months. Two patients are still alive. Best predictor of response was a good immune status prior to CAR infusion with high IL12, DC-Lamp, Fas ligand, and TRAIL. Responding patients had low monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs; CD14þCD33þHLADR) and low levels of IL6, IL8, NAP3, sPDL1, and sPDL2. Conclusions: Third-generation CARs may be efficient in patients with advanced B-cell lymphoproliferative malignancy with only modest toxicity. Immune profiling pre- and posttreatment can be used to find response biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6185-6194
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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