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Preclinical assessment of suitable natural killer cell sources for chimeric antigen receptor natural killer-based "off-the-shelf" acute myeloid leukemia immunotherapies

: Klöß, Stephan; Oberschmidt, Olaf; Dahlke, Julia; Vu, Xuan-Khang; Neudörfl, Christine; Kloos, Arnold; Gardlowski, Tanja; Matthies, Nadine; Heuser, Michael; Meyer, Johann; Sauer, Martin; Falk, Christine S.; Koehl, Ulrike; Schambach, Axel; Morgan, Michael A.


Human gene therapy 30 (2019), No.4, pp.381-401
ISSN: 1043-0342
ISSN: 1557-7422
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()
natural killer cell; chimeric antigen receptor; acute myeloid leukemia; Bibliographie

The introduction of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to augment the anticancer activity of immune cells represents one of the major clinical advances in recent years. This work demonstrates that sorted CAR natural killer (NK) cells have improved antileukemia activity compared to control NK cells that lack a functional CAR. However, in terms of viability, effectiveness, risk of side effects, and clinical practicality and applicability, an important question is whether gene-modified NK cell lines represent better CAR effector cells than primary human donor CAR-NK (CAR-dNK) cells. Comparison of the functional activities of sorted CAR-NK cells generated using the NK-92 cell line with those generated from primary human dNK cells demonstrated that CAR-NK-92 cells had stronger cytotoxic activity against leukemia cells compared to CAR-dNK cells. CAR-NK-92 and CAR-dNK cells had similar CD107a surface expression upon co-incubation with leukemia cells. However, CAR-NK-92 cells secreted higher granzyme A and interleukin-17A levels, while CAR-dNK cells secreted more tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma, and granulysin. In addition, CAR-NK-92 cells revealed a significantly higher potential for adverse side effects against nonmalignant cells. In short, this work shows the feasibility for further development of CAR-NK strategies to treat leukemia.