Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to Identify Relapsed Gastrointestinal (GI) Solid Tumor Patients With Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH) for Future Logic-Gated CAR T Therapy to Reduce on Target off Tumor Toxicity

ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium 2022, Tempus-authored
Authors J. Randolph Randolph Hecht, Scott Kopetz, Sandip Pravin Patel, Theodore Welling, Maria Pia Morelli, Mitesh J. Borad, Julian R. Molina, Kedar Kirtane, Yi Lin, Michelle Fan-Port, Armen Mardiros, Karl Beutner, Ariane Lozac'hmeur, Denise Lau, Kirstin B. Liechty, Judy Vong, Eric Ng, David G. Maloney, William Y. Go, Diane M. Simeone

Metastatic colorectal (CRC), pancreatic (PANC), and gastroesophageal (GE) cancers are the leading causes of GI cancer–related mortality (5-yr survival rate, 14%, 3% and ̃5-6%, respectively). T-cell immunotherapy targeting GI-associated tumor antigens has been attempted, but efficacy has been constrained by on-target off-tumor toxicity, limiting the therapeutic window. The Tmod (TM) platform is an AND-NOT logic-gated CAR T modular system, versions of which have a CEA- or MSLN-targeting CAR activator and a separate HLA-A*02-targeting blocker receptor to protect normal cells. Tmod CAR T exploits HLA LOH, common in GI malignancies (10-33% in primary solid tumors [TCGA]) and can kill tumor cells without harming healthy cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the prevalence of HLA LOH across GI tumors is unknown in the real-world setting. We utilized the Tempus xT oncology NGS database of patients with multiple GI tumors. From a standard-of-care NGS assay, GI cancer patients can be readily identified for HLA LOH and future treatment with Tmod CAR T therapy.

The occurrence of HLA LOH in GI tumors of 1439 patients was assessed using paired germline and somatic DNA sequencing using a research assay [6]. CRC, PANC and GE patients with ≥ stage 3 were then extracted, and rates of HLA LOH were identified (ie, whether loss occurred across high-frequency HLA-A alleles). In addition, mutations in KRAS and BRAF, as well as MSI status were stratified to determine any association with HLA-A LOH.

HLA-A LOH was detected in 830 (17.3%) of all solid tumor records, and a similar proportion when all GI cancer records were analyzed (17.0%). For GI subtypes, these values ranged from 13.5% to 23.1% (Table). No high-frequency HLA-A allele (A*01, A*02, A*03, A*11) was more likely to be lost. Clinical biomarkers (KRAS, BRAF and MSI status) were not associated with HLA-LOH.

The frequency of HLA LOH among advanced solid tumor cancers in this dataset is 17.3%, with a range of 13.5-23% between CRC, PANC and GE. The HLA LOH frequency observed in these GI tumors is consistent with that in primary tumors from TCGA, which also used germline-matched and tumor samples. Clinical biomarkers were not associated with HLA LOH. Tempus NGS was able to identify HLA LOH, which can be used for Tmod CAR T therapy to an enhanced therapeutic window. Identification of these patients in BASECAMP-1 (NCT04981119) will enable novel Tmod CAR T therapy.