Preclinical studies and GMP-conform Scale-up of CMV-specific Cytokine-induced killer (CIKpp65) cells targeting Leukemia and Infections
Human cytomegalovirus infection and reactivation in immunocompromised patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can lead to life-threatening complications. Besides drug treatment virus-specific adoptive immunotherapy to restore virus-specific cellular immunity following HSCT becomes essential after allogeneic HSCT. CIK cells are a heterogeneous population consisting of T natural killer (T-NK) cells co-expressing CD3 and CD56 (CD3+CD56+), classical T cells (CD3+CD56-) and a minority of NK cells (CD3-CD56+). In this project we investigate whether concurrent CMV antigen-pulsing might generate CIK cells with dual anti-leukemic and anti-CMV activity.
Our preclinical results show that CMV-specific cells can be easily co-enriched in CIK cocktails. CIKpp65 cells can be efficient generated without any disadvantages, numerical or functional over conventional CIK cells.
Changeover in GMP-conform medium and closed culture system did not influence characteristics and expansion capacity of CIKpp65 cells. We conclude that CIKpp65 cells may represent a useful cell therapy approach for preemptive immunotherapy even in an HLA-mismatched haploidentical setting to prevent leukemia relapse and treat CMV infections in patients after allogenic stem cell transplantation.