Can T-Cells Be Engineered to Attack More Types of Pediatric Solid Tumors?

Researchers optimized the activity of a CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) constructed that targets GD2, an antigen on the surface of neuroblastoma to modify T cells for use in a future clinical trial.

Project Title: Adoptive Cell Therapy for Adolescent/Pediatric Solid Tumors: Part I
Researcher: Rimas Orentas, PhD
Institution: National Cancer Institute Pediatric Oncology Branch
Study Type: Preclinical
Status: Completed

Researchers are currently optimizing the activity of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) constructed to target GD2, an antigen on the surface of neuroblastoma. Previously, CAR‐modified T-cells did a poor job of infiltrating tumors once they were infused into tumor‐bearing animals. To address this deficit, researchers in this study are incorporating an activated membrane protein, the chemokine receptor CXCR2, into the CAR‐expressing T-cells. Children with rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma show immune response to this added chemokine approach. Based on this preliminary data, the researchers expect that these modified T-cells would travel to the tumor site more efficiently.