Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Imaging CAR T cell therapy with PSMA-targeted positron emission tomography

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  03 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw5096
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5096


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for hematologic malignancies is fraught with several unknowns, including number of functional T cells that engage target tumor, durability and subsequent expansion and contraction of that engagement, and whether toxicity can be managed. Non-invasive, serial imaging of CAR T cell therapy using a reporter transgene can address those issues quantitatively. We have transduced anti-CD19 CAR T cells with the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) because it is a human protein with restricted normal tissue expression and has an expanding array of positron emission tomography (PET) and therapeutic radioligands. We demonstrate that CD19-tPSMA(N9del) CAR T cells can be tracked with [18F]DCFPyL PET in a Nalm6 model of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Divergence between the number of CD19-tPSMA(N9del) CAR T cells in peripheral blood and bone marrow and those in tumor was evident. These findings underscore the need for non-invasive repeatable monitoring of CAR T cell disposition clinically.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances