NYMC Faculty Publications


Romidepsin Alone or in Combination with Anti-CD20 Chimeric Antigen Receptor Expanded Natural Killer Cells Targeting Burkitt Lymphoma in vitro and in Immunodeficient Mice


NYMC First Author of a research article published in a journal with the highest impact factor at the 2018 NYMC Faculty Author Celebration

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Facilitating the development of alternative targeted therapeutic strategies is urgently required to improve outcome or circumvent chemotherapy resistance in children, adolescents, and adults with recurrent/refractory de novo mature B-cell (CD20) non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including Burkitt lymphoma (BL). Romidepsin, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), has been used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. We have demonstrated the significant anti-tumor effect of anti-CD20 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified expanded peripheral blood natural killer (exPBNK) against rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL. This study examined the anti-tumor activity of romidepsin alone and in combination with anti-CD20 CAR exPBNKs against rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL in vitro and in vivo. We found that romidepsin significantly inhibited both rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL cell proliferation in vitro (P < 0.001) and induced cell death in rituximab-sensitive Raji (P < 0.001) and cell cycle arrest in rituximab-resistant Raji-2R and Raji-4RH (P < 0.001). Consistent with in vitro observations, we also found romidepsin significantly inhibited the growth of rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL in BL xenografted NSG mice. We also demonstrated that romidpesin significantly induced the expression of Natural Killer Group 2, Member D (NKG2D) ligands MICA/B in both rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL cells (P < 0.001) resulting in enhancement of exPBNK in vitro cytotoxicity through NKG2D. Finally, we observed the combination of romidepsin and anti-CD20 CAR exPBNK significantly induced cell death in BL cells in vitro, reduced tumor burden and enhanced survival in humanized BL xenografted NSG mice (p < 0.05). Our data suggests that romidepsin is an active HDAC inhibitor that also potentiates expanded NK and anti-CD20 CAR exPBNK activity against rituximab-sensitive and -resistant BL.