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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived CAR-Macrophage Cells with Antigen-dependent Anti-Cancer Cell Functions for Liquid and Solid Tumors

By Li Zhang, Lin Tian, Xiaoyang Dai, Hua Yu, Jiajia Wang, Anhua Lei, Wei Zhao, Yuqing Zhu, Zhen Sun, Hao Zhang, George McDonald Church, He Huang, Qinjie Weng, Jin Zhang

Posted 29 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.28.011270

The Chimera antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy has gained great success in the clinic. However, there are still major challenges for its wider applications in a variety of cancer types including lack of effectiveness due to the highly complex tumor microenvironment, and the forbiddingly high cost due to personalized manufacturing procedures. In order to overcome these hurdles, numerous efforts have been spent focusing on optimizing Chimera Antigen Receptors, engineering and improving T cell capacity, exploiting features of subsets of T cell or NK cells, or making off-the-shelf universal T cells. Here, we developed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived, CAR-expressing macrophage cells (CAR-iMac). These cells showed antigen-dependent macrophage functions such as expression and secretion of cytokines, polarization toward the pro-inflammatory/anti-tumor state, and phagocytosis of tumor cells, as well as some in vivo anti-cancer cell activity for both liquid and solid tumors. This technology platform for the first time provides an unlimited source of iPSC-derived engineered CAR-macrophage cells which could be utilized to eliminate cancer cells or modulate the tumor microenvironment in liquid and solid tumor immunotherapy.

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