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Background: HCC was commonly diagnosed and identified as leading causes of cancer death in China. Using a 10% cutoff score, GPC3 was detected in 63.6% of HCCs. Safety and preliminary efficacy of a GPC3 CAR-T was evaluated in 13 Chinese patients (pts) with r/r GPC3+ HCC in a Phase I trial.
Methods: Pts between 18 and 70 yrs old with histopathological confirmed r/r GPC3+ HCC, Child-Pugh score≤B7, ECOG≤1, lymphocyte ≥ ?0.7 x109, post-transduction positive T cells ? ≥30%, amplification by α CD3/CD28 ≥5 ?, and without ascites and HIV infection were enrolled. Eligible pts undergo leukapheresis or whole blood colletion, which further developed into GPC3 CAR-T via lentiviral transduction. Standard release tests were conducted before administering GPC3 CAR-T in pts. Adverse events were graded per NCI CTCAE v.4.03. Efficacy was evaluated per modified RECIST (mRECIST).
Results: All 13 pts, who received at least one infusion of GPC3 CAR-T, tolerated the treatment well. No dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was identified, and only one SAE of grade 3 fever was reported. Preliminary analysis compared the clinical outcomes in pts who received GPC3 CAR-T without lymphodepleting conditioning (LDC) (Group A) vs. with LDC (Group B) at baseline. In Group A (N = 5), all pts developed progressive disease (PD) shortly after received a total infusion of GPC3 CAR-T ranging from 0.92x107 to 8.72 x107 cells/kg. In Group B (N = 8), following the LDC with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide, pts received a total infusion of GPC3 CAR-T ranging from 0.013x107 to 14.68 x107 cells/kg. Except two non-evaluable pts, the best response for the rest 6 pts are 1 PR, 3 SD, 2 PD. As of Feb 1, 2017, the PR pt remains alive for 385 days; 2 SD pts remain alive for 384 and 562 days, respectively; and one SD deceased at 108 days. Also worth to mention, one pt in Group A decided to remain on the study after PD, further received a total of 6.23 x107cells/kg infusions following a LDC given around Day 150, remains stable for 571 days as of Feb 1, 2017.
Conclusions: Phase I trial shows GPC3 CAR-T is feasible and safe for Chinese pts with r/r GPC3+ HCC, and holds promising antitumor potential when LDC is applied along with GPC3 CAR-T.