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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Nov 26;20(23). pii: E5942. doi: 10.3390/ijms20235942.

CSPG4 as Target for CAR-T-Cell Therapy of Various Tumor Entities-Merits and Challenges.

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Department of Dermatology, Universtitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Hartmannstraße 14, 91052 Erlangen, Germany.


Targeting cancer cells using chimeric-antigen-receptor (CAR-)T cells has propelled adoptive T-cell therapy (ATT) to the next level. A plentitude of durable complete responses using CD19-specific CAR-T cells in patients suffering from various lymphoid malignancies resulted in the approval by the food and drug administration (FDA) of CD19-directed CAR-T cells for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). A substantial portion of this success in hematological malignancies can be traced back to the beneficial properties of the target antigen CD19, which combines a universal presence on target cells with no detectable expression on indispensable host cells. Hence, to replicate response rates achieved in ALL and DLBCL in the realm of solid tumors, where ideal target antigens are scant and CAR-T cells are still lagging behind expectations, the quest for appropriate target antigens represents a crucial task to expedite the next steps in the evolution of CAR-T-cell therapy. In this review, we want to highlight the potential of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) as a CAR-target antigen for a variety of different cancer entities. In particular, we discuss merits and challenges associated with CSPG4-CAR-T cells for the ATT of melanoma, leukemia, glioblastoma, and triple-negative breast cancer.


CAR-T cell; CSPG4; glioblastoma; leukemia; melanoma; target antigen; triple-negative breast cancer

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