Targeting Leptomeningeal Brain Tumors With CAR T Therapy


Manuel Litchman, MD, the president, chief executive officer, and director of Mustang Bio, discussed upcoming research on MB-101 cell therapy.

“The strategy is to try to make these notoriously cold tumors, these immunologic deserts, hot. We've already seen that happen in the oncolytic virus that we've licensed from Nationwide Children's. There's a single center trial being conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham using this oncolytic virus licensed from Nationwide. We're very excited about the results, seeing cold tumors turn hot.”

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Manuel Litchman, MD, president, chief executive officer, and director, Mustang Bio, about the multiple cell therapies the company has in development. Frontmost in their pipeline is MB-106, a CD20-targeted, autologous CAR T cell therapy, that was shown to be efficacious for high-risk B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in recent data presented at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2021 Virtual Congress.1

Another program the company has in development is MB-101 (autologous IL13Rα2-CAR T cells) for the treatment of leptomeningeal brain tumors such as glioblastoma, ependymoma, or medulloblastoma. The first patient was dosed in the clinical trial of MB-101 in May 2021, and the trial plans to enroll up to 30 patients.2

Litchman discussed the 3-pronged approach the company is taking to treating these tumors, consisting of patient selection strategy, investigating different combination therapies, and combining CAR T-cell therapy with an oncolytic virus. 

1. Mustang Bio announces updated interim phase 1/2 data for MB-106 CD20-targeted CAR T in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. News release. Mustang Bio. June 11, 2021.
2. Mustang Bio and City of Hope announce first patient dosed in phase 1 clinical trial of MB-101 (IL13Rα2-specific CAR T cells) to treat leptomeningeal brain tumors. News release. Mustang Bio. May 18, 2021. 
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