Maria Pia Morelli, MD, PhD, on Promising Efficacy of Sleeping Beauty TCR-T Therapy in Solid Tumors


The assistant professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center discussed new data she presented at the 2023 ASCO Meeting.

“It's a very relevant treatment approach, not just for 1 or 2 patients - we can make a difference for a large number of patients... It's definitely relevant, it’s definitely specific, because it's something that is expressed on the cancer cell only on that patient so it's patient specific and very exciting in that sense. And we hope that we can bring immunotherapy also for cold diseases like colon cancer where immunotherapy isn’t currently used. With this approach, that should not be a limitation like we have encountered with immune checkpoint inhibitors. So,it definitely has large scale therapeutic implications.”

Sleeping Beauty T-cell receptor T-cell (TCR-T) therapy (Alaunos Therapeutics) has shown promising signs of efficacy with a manageable safety profile in patients with mutant KRAS, EGFR and TP53-expressing solid tumors, including non-small cell lung (NSCLC), colorectal, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian and bile duct cancers, according to new data from the first 3 patients treated in a phase 1/2 trial (NCT05194735). These data were presented by investigator Maria Pia Morelli, MD, PhD, assistant professor, department of gastrointestinal (GI) medical oncology, division of cancer medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, held June 2-6, 2023, held both virtually and in Chicago, Illinois.

CGTLive spoke with Morelli to learn more about the data she presented and potential advantages of the TCR-T therapy in the solid tumor indications its currently being assessed in as well as in cold diseases that immunotherapies have not been successful in so far. She discussed the progress of the trial and the positive data observed so far.

Click here for more coverage of ASCO 2023.

Morelli MP, Negrao MV, Collinson-Pautz MR, et al. Safety and efficacy of Sleeping Beauty TCR-T cells targeting shared KRAS and TP53 mutations expressed by solid tumors in first-in-human phase 1 study. Presented at: 2023 ASCO Meeting; June 2-6; Chicago, Illinois. Poster #389
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