C-type lectin-like molecule-1 (CLL1) is preferentially expressed on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells and AML blasts, which can be considered as AML-associated antigen. Anti-CLL1-based CAR-T cells exhibited effective tumor-killing capacity in vitro and in AML-bearing mouse model. In this report, eight children with relapsed or refractory AML (R/R-AML) were recruited for a phase 1/2 clinical trial of autologous anti-CLL1 CAR-T cell immunotherapy. The objectives of this clinical trial were to evaluate the safety and the preliminary efficacy of anti-CLL1 CAR-T cell treatment. Patients received one dose of autologous anti-CLL1 CAR-T cells after lymphodepletion conditioning. After CAR-T treatment, patients developed grade 1-2 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) but without any lethal events. 4 out of 8 patients achieved morphologic leukemia-free state (MLFS) and minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity, 1 patient with MLFS and MRD positivity, 1 patient achieved complete remission with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) but MRD positivity, 1 patient with partial remission (PR), and 1 patient remained at stable disease (SD) status but had CLL1-positive AML blast clearance. These results suggested that anti-CLL1-based CAR-T cell immunotherapy can be considered as a well-tolerated and effective option for treating children with R/R-AML.
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