A T cell receptor targeting a recurrent driver mutation in FLT3 mediates elimination of primary human acute myeloid leukemia in vivo.
Giannakopoulou E., Lehander M., Virding Culleton S., Yang W., Li Y., Karpanen T., Yoshizato T., Rustad EH., Nielsen MM., Bollineni RC., Tran TT., Delic-Sarac M., Gjerdingen TJ., Douvlataniotis K., Laos M., Ali M., Hillen A., Mazzi S., Chin DWL., Mehta A., Holm JS., Bentzen AK., Bill M., Griffioen M., Gedde-Dahl T., Lehmann S., Jacobsen SEW., Woll PS., Olweus J.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most frequent leukemia in adults, is driven by recurrent somatically acquired genetic lesions in a restricted number of genes. Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors has demonstrated that targeting of prevalent FMS-related receptor tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gain-of-function mutations can provide significant survival benefits for patients, although the efficacy of FLT3 inhibitors in eliminating FLT3-mutated clones is variable. We identified a T cell receptor (TCR) reactive to the recurrent D835Y driver mutation in the FLT3 tyrosine kinase domain (TCRFLT3D/Y). TCRFLT3D/Y-redirected T cells selectively eliminated primary human AML cells harboring the FLT3D835Y mutation in vitro and in vivo. TCRFLT3D/Y cells rejected both CD34+ and CD34- AML in mice engrafted with primary leukemia from patients, reaching minimal residual disease-negative levels, and eliminated primary CD34+ AML leukemia-propagating cells in vivo. Thus, T cells targeting a single shared mutation can provide efficient immunotherapy toward selective elimination of clonally involved primary AML cells in vivo.