Chimeric Antigen Receptors that Recognize Mesothelin for Cancer Immunotherapy
Posted May 23 2012 8:00pm
Description of Invention: Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) with high affinity for mesothelin to use as a promising immunotherapy to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma. Mesothelin is a protein cancer antigen with limited expression on normal cells that is overexpressed by cancer cells. CARs are hybrid proteins consisting of an antibody portion that recognizes a cancer antigen, such as a mesothelin-specific antibody, fused to receptor signaling domains that serve to activate the CAR-expressing cell to kill tumor cells. Cells that express CARs, most notably T cells, are highly reactive against their specific tumor antigen in an MHC-unrestricted manner to generate an immune response that promotes robust tumor cell elimination when infused into cancer patients. The instant technology includes CAR constructs with one of three different mesothelin-specific antibody portions, including either the mouse-derived SS or SS1 antibody fragments or the human HN1 antibody fragment. Infusion of cells expressing these mesothelin-specific CARs into patients could prove to be a powerful new immunotherapeutic tool for treating various cancers that express mesothelin.
Immunotherapeutics to treat and/or prevent the reoccurrence of cancers that overexpress mesothelin, including pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma and other cancers with few effective treatment options.
A personalized cancer treatment strategy for patients whose tumor cells express mesothelin whereby the patient’s own T cells are isolated, engineered to express a mesothelin-specific CAR, and re-infused into the body to attack the tumor(s).
Tools to diagnose the presence of mesothelin-expressing tumors in patients.
Minimal side effects: Mesothelin is overexpressed on tumor cells. CARs specific for the mesothelin antigen they are expected to primarily target tumor cells, and thus, generate fewer side effects than other cancer treatment approaches.
Successful track record: Immunotoxins containing the antibody portions of some of these CARs have shown promising results in clinical studies for cancer treatment.
Cutting edge: With the advent of Provenge(R) and Yervoy(R), immunotherapy is now more widely accepted as a viable cancer treatment option.
For Licensing Information Please Contact: Samuel Bish Ph.D. NIH Office of Technology Transfer 6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325, Rockville, MD 20852 United States Email: email@example.com Phone: 301-435-5282 Fax: 301-402-0220