B7-H3-redirected chimeric antigen receptor T cells target glioblastoma and neurospheres.



The dismal survival of glioblastoma (GBM) patients urgently calls for the development of new treatments. Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells are an attractive strategy, but preclinical and clinical studies in GBM have shown that heterogeneous expression of the antigens targeted so far causes tumor escape, highlighting the need for the identification of new targets. We explored if B7-H3 is a valuable target for CAR-T cells in GBM.


We compared mRNA expression of antigens in GBM using TCGA data, and validated B7-H3 expression by immunohistochemistry. We then tested the antitumor activity of B7-H3-redirected CAR-T cells against GBM cell lines and patient-derived GBM neurospheres in vitro and in xenograft murine models.


B7-H3 mRNA and protein are overexpressed in GBM relative to normal brain in all GBM subtypes. Of the 46 specimens analyzed by immunohistochemistry, 76% showed high B7-H3 expression, 22% had detectable, but low B7-H3 expression and 2% were negative, as was normal brain. All 20 patient-derived neurospheres showed ubiquitous B7-H3 expression. B7-H3-redirected CAR-T cells effectively targeted GBM cell lines and neurospheres in vitro and in vivo. No significant differences were found between CD28 and 4-1BB co-stimulation, although CD28-co-stimulated CAR-T cells released more inflammatory cytokines.


We demonstrated that B7-H3 is highly expressed in GBM specimens and neurospheres that contain putative cancer stem cells, and that B7-H3-redirected CAR-T cells can effectively control tumor growth. Therefore, B7-H3 represents a promising target in GBM. FUND: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation; Il Fondo di Gio Onlus; National Cancer Institute; Burroughs Wellcome Fund.





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Publication Info

Nehama, Dean, Natalia Di Ianni, Silvia Musio, Hongwei Du, Monica Patané, Bianca Pollo, Gaetano Finocchiaro, James JH Park, et al. (2019). B7-H3-redirected chimeric antigen receptor T cells target glioblastoma and neurospheres. EBioMedicine, 47. pp. 33–43. 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.08.030 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24179.

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Scott Richard Floyd

Gary Hock and Lyn Proctor Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology

Diseases of the brain carry particular morbidity and mortality, given the fundamental function of the brain for human life and quality of life. Disease of the brain are also particularly difficult to study, given the complexity of the brain. Model systems that capture this complexity, but still allow for experiments to test therapies and mechanisms of disease are badly needed.  We have developed an experimental model system that uses slices made from rat and mouse brains to create a test platform to research new treatments for brain diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and brain tumors. This model system reduces the number of experimental animals used, and streamlines experiments so that final testing in laboratory animals is more efficient. We use this brainslice system and limited numbers of experimental animals to test drugs and genetic pathways to treat stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and brain tumors. As many brain tumors are treated with radiation therapy, we have a particular interest in the cellular response to DNA damage caused by radiation. DNA damage signaling and repair are fundamental processes necessary for cells to maintain genomic integrity. Problems with these processes can lead to cancer. As many cancer cells have altered DNA damage and repair pathways, we can apply DNA damage as cancer therapy. Our knowledge of how normal and neoplastic cells handle DNA damage is still incomplete. A deeper understanding can lead to improved cancer treatment, and to better protection from the harmful effects of DNA damaging agents like radiation. To this end, we plan experiments that test the effects of radiation on normal animal tissues and animal models of cancer, as well as molecular pathways in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and stroke.

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