Immunotherapy in Glioblastoma: Current Shortcomings and Future Perspectives.
Cancers (Basel). 2020 Mar 22;12(3):
Authors: Weenink B, French PJ, Sillevis Smitt PAE, Debets R, Geurts M
Glioblastomas are aggressive, fast-growing primary brain tumors. After standard-of-care treatment with radiation in combination with temozolomide, the overall prognosis of newly diagnosed patients remains poor, with a 2-year survival rate of less than 20%. The remarkable survival benefit gained with immunotherapy in several extracranial tumor types spurred a variety of experimental intervention studies in glioblastoma patients. These ranged from immune checkpoint inhibition to vaccinations and adoptive T cell therapies. Unfortunately, almost all clinical outcomes were universally disappointing. In this perspective, we provide an overview of immune interventions performed to date in glioblastoma patients and re-evaluate their performance. We argue that shortcomings of current immune therapies in glioblastoma are related to three major determinants of resistance, namely: low immunogenicity; immune privilege of the central nervous system; and immunosuppressive micro-environment. In this perspective, we propose strategies that are guided by exact shortcomings to sensitize glioblastoma prior to treatment with therapies that enhance numbers and/or activation state of CD8 T cells.
PMID: 32235752 [PubMed]
Directed Differentiation of Mobilized Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells into Functional NK cells with Enhanced Antitumor Activity.
Cells. 2020 Mar 27;9(4):
Authors: Oberoi P, Kamenjarin K, Ossa JFV, Uherek B, Bönig H, Wels WS
Obtaining sufficient numbers of functional natural killer (NK) cells is crucial for the success of NK-cell-based adoptive immunotherapies. While expansion from peripheral blood (PB) is the current method of choice, ex vivo generation of NK cells from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs) may constitute an attractive alternative. Thereby, HSCs mobilized into peripheral blood (PB-CD34+) represent a valuable starting material, but the rather poor and donor-dependent differentiation of isolated PB-CD34+ cells into NK cells observed in earlier studies still represents a major hurdle. Here, we report a refined approach based on ex vivo culture of PB-CD34+ cells with optimized cytokine cocktails that reliably generates functionally mature NK cells, as assessed by analyzing NK-cell-associated surface markers and cytotoxicity. To further enhance NK cell expansion, we generated K562 feeder cells co-expressing 4-1BB ligand and membrane-anchored IL-15 and IL-21. Co-culture of PB-derived NK cells and NK cells that were ex-vivo-differentiated from HSCs with these feeder cells dramatically improved NK cell expansion, and fully compensated for donor-to-donor variability observed during only cytokine-based propagation. Our findings suggest mobilized PB-CD34+ cells expanded and differentiated according to this two-step protocol as a promising source for the generation of allogeneic NK cells for adoptive cancer immunotherapy.
PMID: 32230942 [PubMed - in process]
Next generation chimeric antigen receptor T cells: safety strategies to overcome toxicity.
Mol Cancer. 2019 08 20;18(1):125
Authors: Yu S, Yi M, Qin S, Wu K
Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy is an emerging and effective cancer immunotherapy. Especially in hematological malignancies, CAR-T cells have achieved exciting results. Two Anti-CD19 CAR-T therapies have been approved for the treatment of CD19-positive leukemia or lymphoma. However, the application of CAR-T cells is obviously hampered by the adverse effects, such as cytokines release syndrome and on-target off-tumor toxicity. In some clinical trials, patients quitted the treatment of CAR-T cells due to life-threatening toxicity. Seeking to alleviate these toxicities or prevent the occurrence, researchers have developed a number of safety strategies of CAR-T cells, including suicide genes, synthetic Notch receptor, on-switch CAR, combinatorial target-antigen recognition, bispecific T cell engager and inhibitory CAR. This review summarized the preclinical studies and clinical trials of the safety strategies of CAR-T cells and their respective strengths and weaknesses.
PMID: 31429760 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]