In this phase I/II clinical trial, we investigated the safety and efficacy of high doses of mb-IL21 ex vivo expanded donor-derived NK cells to decrease relapse in 25 patients with myeloid malignancies receiving haploidentical stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Three doses of donor NK cells (1 × 105–1 × 108 cells/kg/dose) were administered on days −2, +7, and +28. Results were compared with an independent contemporaneously treated case-matched cohort of 160 patients from the CIBMTR database. After a median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year relapse rate was 4% vs. 38% (p = 0.014), and disease-free survival (DFS) was 66% vs. 44% (p = 0.1) in the cases and controls, respectively. Only one relapse occurred in the study group, in a patient with the high level of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA) presented before transplantation. The 2-year relapse and DFS in patients without DSA was 0% vs. 40% and 72% vs. 44%, respectively with HR for DFS in controls of 2.64 (p = 0.029). NK cells in recipient blood were increased at day +30 in a dose-dependent manner compared with historical controls, and had a proliferating, mature, highly cytotoxic, NKG2C+/KIR+ phenotype. Administration of donor-derived expanded NK cells after haploidentical transplantation was safe, associated with NK cell-dominant immune reconstitution early post-transplant, preserved T-cell reconstitution, and improved relapse and DFS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01904136 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01904136).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research