Lancet Haematol. 2023 Feb;10(2):e107-e116. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(22)00372-6.


BACKGROUND: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) has shown activity in treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma; however, relapse is still common, and new targets are needed. We aimed to assess the activity and safety profile of G protein-coupled receptor class C group 5 member D (GPRC5D)-targeted CAR T cells (OriCAR-017) in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

METHODS: POLARIS was a first-in-human, single-centre, single-arm, phase 1 trial of GPRC5D-targeted CAR T cells (OriCAR-017) done at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China. Eligible patients were adults aged 18-75 years with a diagnosis of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and an ECOG performance status of 0-2, had GPRC5D expression in bone marrow plasma cells greater than 20% or were positive for GPRC5D by immunohistochemistry, and had received at least three previous lines of treatment including proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and chemotherapy. Patients were consecutively assigned to receive a single dose of intravenous OriCAR-017 at 1 × 106 CAR T cells per kg, 3 × 106 CAR T cells per kg, or 6 × 106 CAR T cells per kg in the dose-escalation phase. In the expansion phase, patients received the recommended phase 2 dose. Recruitment to the expansion phase terminated early due to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 1, 2022. The primary endpoints were safety, the maximum tolerated dose and the recommended phase 2 dose. Safety and activity analyses included all patients who received OriCAR-017. This trial is registered with, NCT05016778. This trial has been completed and is entering long-term follow-up.

FINDINGS: Between June 9, 2021, and Feb 28, 2022, we recruited 13 patients for inclusion into the study. One patient was excluded because of GPRC5D negativity and two patients discontinued after apheresis because of rapid progression. Nine patients were assigned to the dose escalation phase (three received 1 × 106 CAR T cells per kg, three received 3 × 106 CAR T cells per kg, and three received 6 × 106 CAR T cells per kg). The maximum tolerated dose was not identified, because no dose-limiting toxic effects were observed. On the basis of safety and preliminary activity, the recommended phase 2 dose was set at 3 × 106 CAR T cells per kg, which was received by one additional patient in the dose expansion phase. Five patients (50%) were female, five (50%) were male, and all were Chinese. Five patients (50%) were previously treated with BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell therapy. Median follow-up was 238 days (IQR 182-307). There were no serious adverse events and no treatment-related deaths. The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were haematological, including neutropenia (ten [100%] of ten patients), thrombocytopenia (nine [90%]), leukopenia (nine [90%]), and anaemia (seven [70%]). All patients had cytokine release syndrome (nine [90%] grade 1 and one [10%] grade 2). No neurological toxic effects were reported. Ten (100%) of ten patients had an overall response, of whom six (60%) had a stringent complete response and four (40%) had very good partial response. Two patients discontinued due to disease progression (one GPRC5D-positive patient in the middle-dose group and one GPRC5D-negative patient in the low-dose group).

INTERPRETATION: The results of this study suggest that GPRC5D is an active target for immunotherapy in multiple myeloma. GPRC5D-targeted CAR T-cell therapy is a promising treatment modality for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and deserves further testing.

FUNDING: OriCell Therapeutics.

PMID:36725117 | DOI:10.1016/S2352-3026(22)00372-6