Ibrutinib May Improve CAR T-Cell Production for Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

This article was originally published by Targeted Oncology

Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) during chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell culture improved the yield and function of CAR T-cell products as treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

The study investigators led by Leapold Sellner, MD wrote, “our study provides evidence that BTK/ITK inhibition with ibrutinib during CAR T-cell generation may improve CLL patient-derived CAR T cell products and may have the potential to enhance CAR T-cell function. Ibrutinib-supplemented CAR T-cell production leads to increased CAR T-cell yields as well as enriches for less-differentiated T cells with lower expression of exhaustion markers and could be an option to further improve the clinical outcome of CLL patients.”

Sellner et al evaluated the absolute cell numbers during CAR T-cell generation by Trypan blue staining. During cell generation, cell proliferation was significantly lower in CLL-derived cells compared with HD-derived cells. The BTK inhibitor allowed for a significant increase in cell expansion of HD-derived cells on day 10 of the CAR T-cell generation (20.67 ± 8.82 × 106 without ibrutinib vs. 25.28 ± 10.29 × 106 with ibrutinib; P =.0248), and ibrutinib appeared to significantly increase the viability of CD3-positive T cells from HDs on day 10 (3% ±8% vs 87% ± 7%; P =.0183) and day 14 (84% ± 8% vs 91% ± 6%, respectively; P =.0202).

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