NKU Research Team Uses CLL-1 CAR-T Cell Therapy for Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia for the First Time and Makes Breakthroughs


Recently, the team headed by Prof. Zhao Mingfeng of the First Central Hospital Affiliated to Nankai University and the team headed by Prof. Zhang Hongkai of the School of Life Sciences of Nankai University cracked the problem of R/R AML CAR-T treatment through cooperation. The relevant findings were published online in the international prestigious Journal of Hematology & Oncology (IF:23.168) on July 7. 

In this clinical study, the teams applied CAR-T cell therapy for the new target CLL-1 to adult patients with R/R AML for the first time. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients in 10 cases were infused with 1-2×106 CLL-1 CAR-T cells after undergoing a 3-day FC pretreatment. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) was observed in all patients. Four were low grade CRS, and the remaining 6 were high grade CRS. None of patients developed CAR-T-cell-related encephalopathy syndrome (CRES). The complete response (CR)/ complete remission with incomplete count recovery (CRi) of CLL-1 CAR-T therapy was 70% (n = 7/10), and the median of the follow-up time in the study was 173 days. Six patients were still alive at the end of the last follow-up visit. It is noteworthy that CLL-1 is also highly expressed in normal granulocytes. All patients exhibited severe agranulocytosis, and some patients developed infections that are difficult to control. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) is a feasible strategy to solve long-term agranulocytosis caused by off-target toxicity. 

Team members said that this study proved for the first time that CLL-1 CAR-T cell therapy has significant effect and good tolerance in adult patients with R/R AML, and this expands the application of CAR-T in the treatment of AML. At present, the team is conducting the basic R&D and clinical application for new targets and dual-target CAR-T for AML patients, with a view to bringing benefits to more patients. 

Link to the paper: https://jhoonline.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13045-022-01308-1

(Edited and translated by Nankai News Team)