Purpose: We hypothesized that lymphoid-selective host conditioning and subsequent adoptive transfer of sirolimus-resistant allogeneic T cells (T-Rapa), when combined with high-dose sirolimus drug therapy in vivo, would safely achieve antitumor effects while avoiding GVHD. Experimental Design: Patients (n = 10) with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) were accrued because this disease is relatively refractory to high-dose conditioning yet may respond to high-dose sirolimus. A 21-day outpatient regimen of weekly pentostatin (P; 4 mg/m2/dose) combined with daily, dose-adjusted cyclophosphamide (C; ≤200 mg/d) was designed to deplete and suppress host T cells. After PC conditioning, patients received matched sibling, T-cell-replete peripheral blood stem cell allografts, and high-dose sirolimus (serum trough target, 20-30 ng/mL). To augment graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects, multiple T-Rapa donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI) were administered (days 0, 14, and 45 posttransplant), and sirolimus was discontinued early (day 60 posttransplant). Results: PC conditioning depleted host T cells without neutropenia or infection and facilitated donor engraftment (10 of 10 cases). High-dose sirolimus therapy inhibited multiple T-Rapa DLI, as evidenced by stable mixed donor/host chimerism. No antitumor responses were detected by RECIST criteria and no significant classical acute GVHD was observed. Conclusions: Immune-selective PC conditioning represents a new approach to safely achieve alloengraftment without neutropenia. However, allogeneic T cells generated ex vivo in sirolimus are not resistant to the tolerance-inducing effects of in vivo sirolimus drug therapy, thereby cautioning against use of this intervention in patients with refractory cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research