Adoptive transfer of immune effector cells that are gene modified by retroviral transduction to express tumor-specific receptors constitutes an attractive approach to treat cancer. In patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, we performed a study with autologous T cells genetically retargeted with a chimeric antibody receptor (CAR) directed toward carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), an antigen highly expressed in renal cell carcinoma. In the majority of patients, we observed distinct humoral and/or cellular anti-CAIX-CAR T-cell immune responses in combination with a limited peripheral persistence of transferred CAIX-CAR T cells in the majority of patients. Humoral immune responses were anti-idiotypic in nature and neutralized CAIX-CAR-mediated T-cell function. Cellular anti-CAIX-CAR immune responses were directed to the complementarity-determining and framework regions of the CAR variable domains. In addition, 2 patients developed immunity directed against presumed retroviral vector epitopes. Here, we document the novel feature that therapeutic cells, which were ex vivo engineered by means of transduction with a minimal γ-retroviral vector, do express immunogenic vector-encoded epitopes, which might compromise persistence of these cells. These observations may constitute a critical concern for clinical ex vivo γ-retroviral gene transduction in general and CAR-retargeted T-cell therapy in particular, and underscore the need to attenuate the immunogenicity of both transgene and vector.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal Blood
Lamers, C.H.J, Willemsen, R.A, van Elzakker, P.M.M.L, van Steenbergen-Langeveld, S, Broertjes, M, Oosterwijk-Wakka, J, … Gratama, J.W. (2011). Immune responses to transgene and retroviral vector in patients treated with ex vivo-engineered T cells. Blood, 117(1), 72–82. doi:10.1182/blood-2010-07-294520