Patients have a type of cancer called NHL, Multiple Myeloma (MM) or CLL. The lymphoma, MM or
CLL has come back or has not gone away after treatment. There is no standard treatment for
the cancer at this time or the currently used treatments do not work completely in all cases
like these. This is a gene transfer research study using special immune cells.
The body has different ways of fighting infection and disease. No single way seems perfect
for fighting cancers. This research study combines two different ways of fighting disease,
antibodies and T cells, that investigators hope will work together. Antibodies are types of
proteins that protect the body from bacterial and other diseases. T cells, also called T
lymphocytes, are special infection-fighting blood cells that can kill other cells, including
tumor cells. Both antibodies and T cells have been used to treat patients with cancers; they
have shown promise, but have not been strong enough to cure most patients.
T lymphocytes can kill tumor cells but there normally are not enough of them or they are not
able to kill all the tumor cells. Some researchers have taken T cells from a person's blood,
grown more of them in the laboratory and then given them back to the person.
The antibody used in this study recognizes a protein on the lymphoma, MM or CLL cells called
kappa immunoglobulin. Antibodies can stick to lymphoma, MM or CLL cells when it recognizes
the kappa molecules present on the tumor cells. For this study, the kappa antibody has been
changed so that instead of floating free in the blood it is now joined to the T cells. When
an antibody is joined to a T cell in this way it is called a chimeric receptor. These
chimeric receptor-T cells seem to kill some of the tumor, but they don't last very long and
so their chances of fighting the cancer are limited.
In the laboratory, investigators found that T cells work better if they also add a protein
that stimulates T cells to grow called CD28. By joining the anti-kappa antibody to the T
cells and adding the CD28, the investigators expect to be able to make cells that will last
for a longer time in the body (because of the presence of the CD28). They are hoping this
will make the cells work better. This research is taking place to assess the safety of
different doses of these cells. These chimeric T cells (kappa-CD28) are an investigational
product not approved by the FDA.