Preclinical efficacy of daratumumab in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).
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<p>As a consequence of acquired or intrinsic disease resistance, the prognosis for patients with relapsed or refractory T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is dismal. Novel, less toxic drugs are clearly needed. One of the most promising emerging therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment is targeted immunotherapy. Immune therapies have improved outcomes for patients with other hematologic malignancies including B-ALL, however no immune therapy has been successfully developed for T-ALL. We hypothesize targeting CD38 will be effective against T-ALL. We demonstrate that blasts from patients with T-ALL have robust surface CD38 surface expression and that this expression remains stable after exposure to multi-agent chemotherapy. CD38 is expressed at very low levels on normal lymphoid and myeloid cells and on a few tissues of non-hematopoietic origin, suggesting that CD38 may be an ideal target. Daratumumab is a human IgG1κ monoclonal antibody that binds CD38, and has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in patients with refractory multiple myeloma (MM). We tested daratumumab in a large panel of T-ALL patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and found striking efficacy in 14 of 15 different PDX. These data suggest that daratumumab is a promising novel therapy for pediatric T-ALL patients.</p>