Anti-Mesothelin CAR T cell therapy for malignant mesothelioma

Anti-Mesothelin CAR T cell therapy for malignant mesothelioma.

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Item Type: Review
Status: Published
Official URL:
Journal or Publication Title: Biomarker Research
Volume: 9
Number: 1
Date: 2021
Divisions: Gene and Stem Cell Therapy
Depositing User: General Admin
Identification Number: 10.1186/s40364-021-00264-1
ISSN: 2050-7771
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2021 05:55

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a treatment-resistant tumor originating in the mesothelial lining of the pleura or the abdominal cavity with very limited treatment options. More effective therapeutic approaches are urgently needed to improve the poor prognosis of MM patients. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has emerged as a novel potential treatment for this incurable solid tumor. The tumor-associated antigen mesothelin (MSLN) is an attractive target for cell therapy in MM, as this antigen is expressed at high levels in the diseased pleura or peritoneum in the majority of MM patients and not (or very modestly) present in healthy tissues. Clinical trials using anti-MSLN CAR T cells in MM have shown that this potential therapeutic is relatively safe. However, efficacy remains modest, likely due to the MM tumor microenvironment (TME), which creates strong immunosuppressive conditions and thus reduces anti-MSLN CAR T cell tumor infiltration, efficacy and persistence. Various approaches to overcome these challenges are reviewed here. They include local (intratumoral) delivery of anti-MSLN CAR T cells, improved CAR design and co-stimulation, and measures to avoid T cell exhaustion. Combination therapies with checkpoint inhibitors as well as oncolytic viruses are also discussed. Preclinical studies have confirmed that increased efficacy of anti-MSLN CAR T cells is within reach and offer hope that this form of cellular immunotherapy may soon improve the prognosis of MM patients.

Castelletti, Laura
Yeo, Dannel
van Zandwijk, Nico
Rasko, John E. J.
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 05:55

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