Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells Targeting CD79b Show Efficacy in Lymphoma with or without Cotargeting CD19

Maria Ormhøj, Irene Scarfò, Maria L Cabral, Stefanie R Bailey, Selena J Lorrey, Amanda A Bouffard, Ana P Castano, Rebecca C Larson, Lauren S Riley, Andrea Schmidts, Bryan D Choi, Rikke S Andersen, Oriane Cédile, Charlotte Guldborg Nyvold, Jacob Haaber, Morten F Gjerstorff, Henrik J Ditzel, David M Weinstock, Torben Barington, Matthew J FrigaultMarcela V Maus

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PURPOSE: T cells engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 have recently been FDA approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Despite the success and curative potential of CD19 CAR T cells, several reports describing disease relapse due to antigen loss are now emerging. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We developed a novel CAR construct directed against CD79b, a critical receptor for successful B-cell development that remains highly expressed in several subtypes of B-cell lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). We tested CAR T cells directed against CD79b alone or in combination with CD19 targeting in a single construct, against cell line- and patient-derived xenograft models. RESULTS: We demonstrate CAR79b antigen-specific recognition and cytotoxicity against a panel of cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models of MCL. Importantly, we show that downregulation of CD19 does not influence surface expression of CD79b and that anti-CD79b CAR T cells alone or arranged in a dual-targeting format with a CD19 single-chain variable fragment (scFv) are able to recognize and eliminate CD19+, CD19-, and mixed CD19+/CD19-B-cell lymphoma. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that CAR T cells targeting CD79b alone or in combination have promise for treating and preventing CD19 antigen escape in B-cell lymphomas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)7046-7057
Publication statusPublished - 1. Dec 2019


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