Cliona M. Rooney, PhD, Professor, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Banked, allogeneic therapeutic T-cells overcome problems related to manufacturing failures of patient derived products, the length of time for manufacture and testing of products, product potency and expense, and are the holy grail for cellular Immunotherapy. Major problems that beset allogeneic T-cells are graft versus host disease and graft rejection mediated by donor- and host-derived alloreactive T-cells respectively. We are using banked EBV-specific T-cells (EBVSTs) modified to express a CD30.CAR for the treatment of allogeneic patients with CD30-positive lymphoma with impressive clinical responses. The use of EBVSTs solves the problem of GVHD, since with their more limited TCR repertoire, EBVSTs have not cause GVHD in hundreds of allogeneic recipients, while host alloreactive T-cells upregulate CD30 on stimulation, so that they can be eliminated by the CD30.CAR, thus preventing rejection.