The biotechnology company Anixa Biosciences, Inc. together with the Moffitt Cancer Center, issued a press release on May 22nd stating that the second patient had begun treatment as part of the ongoing trial investigating chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T) to treat ovarian cancer.
Clinical Trial Phase I (NCT05316129)
Anixa’s clinical trial, conducted at the Moffitt Center, will be evaluating safety while at the same time determining the maximum recommended dose of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor T-cells.
All enrolled patients will have disease progression to the extent that they have received two or more treatment interventions that failed. The second patient currently being evaluated is receiving a dose equal to that of the first patient. The same dose will be given to the third patient.
The next three patients will receive an increased dose. Anixa indicated that from that juncture information will be disbursed as warranted.
CER-T vs. CAR-T
The engineered T-cells used for Anixa’s therapy are chimeric endocrine receptor T-cells (CER-T) that target endocrine receptors.
CAR-T treatments have had some success against hematological tumors but have not met with success against the type of solid tumors found in ovarian cancers.
One explanation is that in order to effectively avoid healthy cells, CAR-T therapy requires targeting a certain antigen that is present only on cancer cells.
Unlike CAR-T the investigational therapy of the Phase 1 clinical trial sets as its target the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) which is expressed on most ovarian cells.
A New Type of CAR-T
- The CAR-T therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells (autologous).
- The cells are engineered and their targets are the follicle-stimulating hormone (chimeric endocrine) receptor (FSHR)
- FSHR is found on the ovaries’ estrogen-secreting (granulosa) cells.
A hormone receptor is the target (chimeric endocrine) and its binding domain is defined as a protein domain that binds to a specific molecule. Hence the name CER-T (chimeric endocrine receptor T cell)