NGS-MRD Assessment of Combination Immunotherapies Targeting B-ALL

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Shenzhen Geno-Immune Medical Institute
Updated on 13 March 2022


The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a combination therapy in the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) based on multi-antigen-targeted chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) followed by engineered immune effector cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and immune-modified dendritic cell vaccine (DCvac). This approach is aimed to achieve NGS MRD negative in B-ALL patients, which can identify a very low risk of relapse and define patients with possible long-term remission without further treatment.


Minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring is currently performed in B-ALL patients to evaluate treatment response and define risk stratification. Patients with good prognosis have undetectable MRD levels after treatment, while persistent MRD defines high relapse-risk patients. A standardized flow cytometry assay detects MRD reliably in bone marrow or peripheral blood at levels ≥0.01% mononuclear cells. More sensitive MRD assay detecting specific immunoglobulin heavy (IgH) chain rearrangement by next-generation sequencing (NGS) can approach reliably detectable blast level at ≤10-6 cells. Given the high sensitivity, the NGS-MRD approach improves distinction between deeply negative and very low positive cases. Recent studies also demonstrate that NGS-MRD assessment of the bone marrow with undetectable blast cells is a strong predictive factor, indicating patients with possible long-term response after CAR-T cell therapy.

In the past decade, adoptively transferred T cells modified with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have demonstrated high effectiveness and changed the treatment paradigm for B-ALL. More than 80% B-ALL patients achieved complete remission due to CAR-T treatment, but some patients with CR still have MRD that ultimately leads to relapse, which indicates the importance for further combination therapy to enhance anti-tumor immunity and to eradicate all malignant cells. Therefore, this protocol includes multi-target CAR-T cell infusions followed by cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-based immunotherapy, which react with B-ALL tumor antigens, and then followed by injection of immune-modified dendritic cells fused with leukemic cells (DCvac). In addition to the significant success of CAR-T cell therapy, various clinical studies also reported the importance and potential benefits of using engineered tumor-specific T cells in different types of cancer. Moreover, DC-based vaccine as another agent of immunotherapy has proven to prevent or delay relapse in leukemia patients achieving remission. In this study, we propose to combine those strategies to augment anti-tumor immunity in patients and expect undetectable NGS-MRD remission to prevent disease recurrence.

We propose a novel protocol which combines multiple CAR-T cell therapy, engineered immune effector CTLs and DCvac against B-ALL. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of the NGS-MRD analysis-based combinational immunotherapy.

Condition B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Treatment Antigen-specific T cells CART/CTL and DCvac
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05262673
SponsorShenzhen Geno-Immune Medical Institute
Last Modified on13 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age older than 6 months
High-burden (≥30% blast cells) B-ALL tumor specimen for clonal IgH identification and CTL/DC vac preparation is required
Expression of CD19, CD22, CD20, CD10 or CD123 is determined in malignant cells by flow cytometry or immuno-histochemical staining
Karnofsky performance status (KPS) score is higher than 80 and life expectancy > 3 months
Adequate bone marrow, liver and renal function as assessed by the following laboratory requirements: cardiac ejection fraction ≥ 50%, oxygen saturation ≥ 90%, creatinine ≤ 2.5x upper limit of normal, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≤ 3x upper limit of normal, total bilirubin ≤ 2.0mg/dL
Hgb ≥ 80g/L
No cell separation contraindications
Abilities to understand and the willingness to provide written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria

Sever illness or medical condition, which would not permit the patient to be managed according to the protocol, including active uncontrolled infection
Active bacterial, fungal or viral infection not controlled by adequate treatment
Known HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
Pregnant or nursing women may not participate
History of glucocorticoid for systemic therapy within the week prior to entering the test
Previously treatment with any gene therapy products
Patients, in the opinion of investigators, may not be eligible or not able to comply with the study
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