Engineered T Cells Can Effectively Treat B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Engineered Immune Cells Lead to Leukemia Remission
Engineered Immune Cells Lead to Leukemia Remission

(HealthDay News) -- Five patients with relapsed B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) quickly achieved complete remission after treatment with autologous engineered T cells, according to research published in the March 20 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Renier J. Brentjens, M.D., Ph.D., from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues treated five adults with relapsed B-ALL with autologous T cells engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor targeting CD19 (19-28z). The patients had received salvage chemotherapy.

The researchers found that all patients quickly achieved molecular complete remission, in only eight days for one patient, regardless of starting disease and tumor burden. Cytokine-mediated toxicities directly correlated to tumor burden at the time of treatment. One patient relapsed and was ineligible for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, while the remaining four patients subsequently underwent the procedure and remain in complete remission.

"These results demonstrate the marked antitumor efficacy of 19-28z chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells in patients with relapsed/refractory B-ALL and the reliability of this therapy to induce profound molecular remissions, forming a highly effective bridge to potentially curative therapy with subsequent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation," the authors write.

Two authors hold a patent covering the 19-28z receptor.

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