Combining daratumumab with CD47 blockade prolongs survival in preclinical models of pediatric T-ALL


Müller K, Vogiatzi F, Winterberg D, Rösner T, Lenk L, Bastian L, Gehlert CL, Autenrieb MP, Brüggemann M, Cario G, Schrappe M, Kulozik AE, Eckert C, Bergmann AK, Bornhauser B, Bourquin JP, Valerius T, Peipp M, Kellner C, Schewe DM



Year of publication:



2022 Apr 22;blood.2021014485



Impact factor:


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignant disease affecting children. Although therapy strategies improved, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) relapse is associated with chemoresistance and a poor prognosis. One strategy to overcome this obstacle is the application of monoclonal antibodies. Here, we show that leukemic cells from T-ALL patients express surface CD38 and CD47, both attractive targets for antibody therapy. We therefore investigated the commercially available CD38 antibody daratumumab (Dara) in combination with a proprietary modified CD47 antibody (Hu5F9-IgG2σ) in vitro and in vivo. Compared to single treatments, this combination significantly increased in vitro antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) in T-ALL cell lines as well as in random de novo and in relapsed/refractory T-ALL patient derived xenograft (PDX) samples. Similarly, enhanced ADCP was observed when combining Dara with pharmacological inhibition of CD47 interactions using a glutaminyl cyclase inhibitor. Phase II-like preclinical in vivo trials using T-ALL PDX samples in experimental minimal residual disease like (MRD-like) and overt leukemia models revealed a high anti-leukemic efficacy of CD47 blockade alone. However, T-ALL xenograft mice subjected to chemotherapy first (post-chemo MRD) and subsequently co-treated with Dara and Hu5F9-IgG2σ displayed significantly reduced bone marrow infiltration as compared to single treatments. In relapsed and highly refractory T-ALL PDX combined treatment with Dara and Hu5F9-IgG2σ was required to substantially prolong survival as compared to single treatments. These findings suggest that combining CD47 blockade with Dara is a promising therapy for T-ALL, especially for relapsed/refractory disease harbouring a dismal prognosis in patients.

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