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Br J Haematol. 2013 May;161(3):389-401. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12282. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Targeting of acute myeloid leukaemia by cytokine-induced killer cells redirected with a novel CD123-specific chimeric antigen receptor.

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Centro di Ricerca Matilde Tettamanti, Department of Paediatrics, University of Milano-Bicocca, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Br J Haematol. 2013 Aug;162(3):428.


Current therapeutic regimens for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are still associated with high rates of relapse. Immunotherapy with T-cells genetically modified to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) represents an innovative approach. Here we investigated the targeting of the interleukin three receptor alpha (IL3RA; CD123) molecule, which is overexpressed on AML bulk population, CD34(+) leukaemia progenitors, and leukaemia stem cells (LSC) compared to normal haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), and whose overexpression is associated with poor prognosis. Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells were transduced with SFG-retroviral-vector encoding an anti-CD123 CAR. Transduced cells were able to strongly kill CD123(+) cell lines, as well as primary AML blasts. Interestingly, secondary colony experiments demonstrated that anti-CD123.CAR preserved in vitro HSPCs, in contrast to a previously generated anti-CD33.CAR, while keeping an identical cytotoxicity profile towards AML. Furthermore, limited killing of normal monocytes and CD123-low-expressing endothelial cells was noted, thus indicating a low toxicity profile of the anti-CD123.CAR. Taken together, our results indicate that CD123-specific CARs strongly enhance anti-AML CIK functions, while sparing HSPCs and normal low-expressing antigen cells, paving the way to develop novel immunotherapy approaches for AML treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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