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American Society of Hematology, Blood, 6(143), p. 507-521, 2024

DOI: 10.1182/blood.2023021054



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A dual-receptor T-cell platform with Ab-TCR and costimulatory receptor achieves specificity and potency against AML

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Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy has produced remarkable clinical responses in B-cell neoplasms. However, many challenges limit this class of agents for the treatment of other cancer types, in particular the lack of tumor-selective antigens for solid tumors and other hematological malignancies, such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which may be addressed without significant risk of severe toxicities while providing sufficient abundance for efficient tumor suppression. One approach to overcome this hurdle is dual targeting by an antibody–T-cell receptor (AbTCR) and a chimeric costimulatory signaling receptor (CSR) to 2 different antigens, in which both antigens are found together on the cancer cells but not together on normal cells. To explore this proof of concept in AML, we engineered a new T-cell format targeting Wilms tumor 1 protein (WT1) and CD33; both are highly expressed on most AML cells. Using an AbTCR comprising a newly developed TCR-mimic monoclonal antibody against the WT1 RMFPNAPYL (RMF) epitope/HLA-A2 complex, ESK2, and a secondary CSR comprising a single-chain variable fragment directed to CD33 linked to a truncated CD28 costimulatory fragment, this unique platform confers specific T-cell cytotoxicity to the AML cells while sparing healthy hematopoietic cells, including CD33+ myelomonocytic normal cells. These data suggest that this new platform, named AbTCR-CSR, through the combination of a AbTCR CAR and CSR could be an effective strategy to reduce toxicity and improve specificity and clinical outcomes in adoptive T-cell therapy in AML.