Phase I Study of Lentiviral-Transduced Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cells Recognizing Mesothelin in Advanced Solid Cancers

Andrew R. Haas, Janos L. Tanyi, Mark H. O'Hara, Whitney L. Gladney, Simon F. Lacey, Drew A. Torigian, Michael C. Soulen, Lifeng Tian, Maureen McGarvey, Anne Marie Nelson, Caitlin S. Farabaugh, Edmund Moon, Bruce L. Levine, J. Joseph Melenhorst, Gabriela Plesa, Carl H. June, Steven M. Albelda, Gregory L. Beatty

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212 Scopus citations


This phase I study investigated the safety and activity of lentiviral-transduced chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified autologous T cells redirected against mesothelin (CART-meso) in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, ovarian carcinoma, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Fifteen patients with chemotherapy-refractory cancer (n = 5 per indication) were treated with a single CART-meso cell infusion. CART-meso cells were engineered by lentiviral transduction with a construct composed of the anti-mesothelin single-chain variable fragment derived from the mouse monoclonal antibody SS1 fused to intracellular signaling domains of 4-1BB and CD3zeta. Patients received 1–3 × 107 or 1–3 × 108 CART-meso cells/m2 with or without 1.5 g/m2 cyclophosphamide. Lentiviral-transduced CART-meso cells were well tolerated; one dose-limiting toxicity (grade 4, sepsis) occurred at 1–3 × 107/m2 CART-meso without cyclophosphamide. The best overall response was stable disease (11/15 patients). CART-meso cells expanded in the blood and reached peak levels by days 6–14 but persisted transiently. Cyclophosphamide pre-treatment enhanced CART-meso expansion but did not improve persistence beyond 28 days. CART-meso DNA was detected in 7/10 tumor biopsies. Human anti-chimeric antibodies (HACA) were detected in the blood of 8/14 patients. CART-meso cells were well tolerated and expanded in the blood of all patients but showed limited clinical activity. Studies evaluating a fully human anti-mesothelin CAR are ongoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1929
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 6 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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