Abstract

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapies for solid tumors face critical challenges such as heterogeneous antigen expression. We characterized stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4) cell-surface glycolipid as a target for CAR T-cell therapy. SSEA-4 is mainly expressed during embryogenesis but is also found in several cancer types making it an attractive tumor-associated antigen. Anti-SSEA-4 CAR-T cells were generated and assessed preclinically in vitro and in vivo for antitumor response and safety. SSEA-4 CAR-T cells effectively eliminated SSEA-4-positive cells in all the tested cancer cell lines, whereas SSEA-4-negative cells lines were not targeted. In vivo efficacy and safety studies using NSG mice and the high-grade serous ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR4 demonstrated a remarkable and specific antitumor response at all the CAR T-cell doses used. At high T-cell doses, CAR T cell-treated mice showed signs of health deterioration after a follow-up period. However, the severity of toxicity was reduced with a delayed onset when lower CAR T-cell doses were used. Our data demonstrate the efficacy of anti-SSEA-4 CAR T-cell therapy; however, safety strategies, such as dose-limiting and/or equipping CAR-T cells with combinatorial antigen recognition should be implemented for its potential clinical translation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Volume22
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1319-1331
Number of pages13
ISSN1535-7163
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3111 Biomedicine
  • 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology

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