Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant childhood brain tumor with a high morbidity. Identification of new therapeutic targets would be instrumental in improving patient outcomes. We evaluated the expression of the tumor-associated antigen PRAME in biopsies from 60 patients with medulloblastoma. PRAME expression was detectable in 82% of tissues independent of molecular and histopathologic subgroups. High PRAME expression also correlated with worse overall survival. We next investigated the relevance of PRAME as a target for immunotherapy. Medulloblastoma cells were targeted using genetically modified T cells with a PRAME-specific TCR (SLL TCR T cells). SLL TCR T cells efficiently killed medulloblastoma HLA-A-02+ DAOY cells as well as primary HLA-A-02+ medulloblastoma cells. Moreover, SLL TCR T cells controlled tumor growth in an orthotopic mouse model of medulloblastoma. To prevent unexpected T-cell- related toxicity, an inducible caspase-9 (iC9) gene was introduced in frame with the SLL TCR; this safety switch triggered prompt elimination of genetically modified T cells. Altogether, these data indicate that T cells genetically modified with a high-affinity, PRAME-specific TCR and iC9 may represent a promising innovative approach for treating patients with HLA-A-02+ medulloblastoma. Significance: These findings identify PRAME as a medulloblastoma tumor-associated antigen that can be targeted using genetically modified T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research