ASH Conference poster by Mark Gurney

Nov 15 2022 Posted: 12:30 GMT

Trail Engineering Enhances Expanded Cord Blood Anti-Leukemic Activity

ASH meeting from 9-13th of December.

NK cells are being investigated as a promising cellular therapy for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia. NK cells recognise stress signals on leukemia cells and can kill them by release of cytotoxic granules and expressing ligands at their cell surface (including TRAIL) for 'death inducing' receptors present on leukaemia cells. In this project we used a non-viral transposon engineering process to introduce a modified version of TRAIL into cord blood NK cells during their expansion. These TRAIL engineered NK cells express higher amounts of TRAIL at the cell surface and led to higher rates of acute myeloid leukemia cell killing, including against leukemic cells donated from AML patient donors. This is a promising result which warrants further study to understand if the effect can be used to enhance clinical NK cell therapies. The work was supported by collaborations between University of Galway (Dr. Eva Szegezdi, Prof. Michael O'Dwyer), ONK therapeutics, BioTechne, Anthony Nolan and by Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Program fellowship (Dr. Mark Gurney).