Micromolar affinity CAR T cells to ICAM-1 achieves rapid tumor elimination while avoiding systemic toxicity

Spencer Park, Enda Shevlin, Yogindra Vedvyas, Marjan Zaman, Susan Park, Yen Michael S. Hsu, Irene M. Min, Moonsoo M. Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Adoptive transfer of high-affinity chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting hematological cancers has yielded impressive clinical results. However, safety concerns regarding target expression on healthy tissue and poor efficacy have hampered application to solid tumors. Here, a panel of affinity-variant CARs were constructed targeting overexpressed ICAM-1, a broad tumor biomarker, using its physiological ligand, LFA-1. Anti-tumor T cell potency in vitro was directly proportional to CAR affinity and ICAM-1 density. In a solid tumor mouse model allowing simultaneous monitoring of anti-tumor potency and systemic off-tumor toxicity, micromolar affinity CAR T cells demonstrated superior anti-tumor efficacy and safety compared to their nanomolar counterparts. Longitudinal T cell tracking by PET/CT and concurrent cytokine measurement revealed superior expansion and contraction kinetics of micromolar affinity CAR T cells. Therefore, we developed an ICAM-1 specific CAR with broad anti-tumor applicability that utilized a reduced affinity targeting strategy to significantly boost efficacy and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14366
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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