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A Phase I study of an HLA-DPB1*0401-restricted T cell receptor targeting MAGE-A3 for patients with metastatic cancers
  1. Yong-Chen Lu1,
  2. Linda Parker2,
  3. Tangying Lu2,
  4. Zhili Zheng2,
  5. Xin Yao2,
  6. Paul F Robbins1,
  7. Pierre van der Bruggen3,
  8. Christopher A Klebanoff4,
  9. Christian S Hinrichs1,
  10. Stephanie Goff1,
  11. Richard Sherry2,
  12. Udai Kammula2,
  13. James C Yang2 and
  14. Steven A Rosenberg5
  1. Aff1 grid.48336.3a0000000419368075Surgery Branch / National Cancer Institute / National Institutes of Health Bethesda MD USA
  2. Aff2 grid.94365.3d0000000122975165National Institutes of Health Bethesda MD USA
  3. Aff3 grid.7942.8000000012294713XLudwig Institute for Cancer Research, de Duve InstituteUniversité Catholique de Louvain Avenue Hippocrate 74, bte B1.74.03, second floor Brussels Belgium
  4. Aff4 grid.417768.b0000000404839129Center for Cancer Research, NCI/NIH Bethesda MD USA
  5. Aff5 grid.48336.3a0000000419368075NIH/NCI Bethesda MD USA

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Meeting abstracts


Adoptive transfer of genetically-modified T cells is being explored as a salvage treatment for patients with selected metastatic cancers. Most of the current strategies utilize MHC class I-restricted T cell receptor (TCR) or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technologies to genetically modify CD8+ T cells or bulk T cells for patient treatment. Evidence indicates that CD4+ T cells can induce tumor regression, similar to CD8+ T cells. To test this hypothesis, an HLA-DPB1*0401-restricted TCR recognizing MAGE-A3 was isolated from a patient's peripheral blood after MAGE-A3 peptide vaccination. Because HLA-DPB1*0401 is present in 40~70% of the Caucasian population and MAGE-A3 is expressed in up to one third of tumor specimens from a variety of cancer types, this TCR immunotherapy can potentially be beneficial for a significant portion of cancer patients.

Trial design

Eligible patients were HLA-DPB1*0401 positive with MAGE-A3 positive tumor specimens, and had not responded or had recurred following at least one standard first line therapy for their disease. Patients received a lymphodepleting preparative regimen, followed by adoptive transfer of purified CD4+ T cells transduced with the HLA-DPB1*0401-restricted MAGE-A3 TCR plus systemic high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2). A cell dose-escalation was conducted, treating 1 patient at each cohort (0.01, 0.03, 0.1, up to 30 billion cells), followed by 6 patients at the highest dose level (100 billion cells). Clinical trial information: NCT02111850.


To date, 10 patients have been enrolled in this protocol. The latest patient was treated at the highest dose level (100 billion cells). A patient with cervical cancer metastases in her supraclavicular lymph nodes is a confirmed partial responder (PR) by RECIST criteria. Her tumors shrank 85% by 8 months after adoptive transfer of 3 billion TCR-transduced CD4+ T cells. This result demonstrates the safety of administering autologous CD4+ T cells genetically-engineered to express an MHC class II-restricted anti-tumor TCR targeting MAGE-A3 and presents preliminary evidence for efficacy. This clinical trial extends the reach of TCR gene therapy for patients with metastatic cancers. To our knowledge, this is the first genetically-modified CD4+ T cell immunotherapy against cancer.

Trial registration identifier NCT02111850.