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.
- 3111 Biolääketieteet
- 1182 Biokemia, solu- ja molekyylibiologia