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Mol Ther. 2016 Apr;24(4):823-31. doi: 10.1038/mt.2015.234. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Serial Activation of the Inducible Caspase 9 Safety Switch After Human Stem Cell Transplantation.

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Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.
Lineberger Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


Activation of the inducible caspase 9 (iC9) safety gene by a dimerizing drug (chemical inducer of dimerization (CID) AP1903) effectively resolves the symptoms and signs of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in haploidentical stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. However, after CID treatment, 1% of iC9-T cells remain and can regrow over time; although these resurgent T cells do not cause recurrent GvHD, it remains unclear whether repeat CID treatments are a safe and feasible way to further deplete residual gene-modified T cells should any other adverse effects associated with them occur. Here, we report a patient who received an infusion of haploidentical iC9-T cells after HSCT and subsequently received three treatments with AP1903. There was a mild (grade 2) and transient pancytopenia following each AP1903 administration but no non-hematological toxicity. Ninety five percent of circulating iC9-T cells (CD3(+)CD19(+)) were eliminated after the first AP1903 treatment. Three months later, the residual cells had expanded more than eightfold and had a lower level of iC9 expression. Each repeated AP1903 administration eliminated a diminishing percentage of the residual repopulating cells, but elimination could be enhanced by T-cell activation. These data support the safety and efficiency of repeated CID treatments for persistent or recurring toxicity from T-cell therapies.

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