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RAPA-201 Therapy of Solid Tumors

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Third Opinion Trial Synopsis:
Scientists have developed a new therapy for solid tumors called immunotherapy, which activates immune T cells. They are testing a treatment called RAPA-201, where polyclonal T cells are transferred to patients. RAPA-201 is made from autologous CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and has shown good results in fighting tumors in patients with multiple myeloma. The new study will test RAPA-201 on patients with advanced metastatic, recurrent, and unresectable solid tumors that have relapsed after prior immune therapy. Patients will receive six cycles of standard-of-care chemotherapy followed by RAPA-201. The study aims to determine whether RAPA-201 is effective in treating tumors that are resistant to anti-PD(L)-1 checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
*Third Opinion AI Generated Synopsis

Trial Summary
The therapy of solid tumors has been revolutionized by immune therapy, in particular, approaches that activate immune T cells in a polyclonal manner through blockade of checkpoint pathways such as PD-1 by administration of monoclonal antibodies. In this study, the investigators will evaluate the adoptive transfer of RAPA-201 cells, which are checkpoint-deficient polyclonal T cells that represent an analogous yet distinct immune therapy treatment platform for solid tumors. RAPA-201 is a second-generation immunotherapy product consisting of reprogrammed autologous CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of Th1/Tc1 cytokine phenotype. First-generation RAPA-101, which was bred for resistance to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, demonstrated clear anti-tumor effects in multiple myeloma patients without any product-related adverse events. Second-generation RAPA-201, which have acquired resistance to the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus, are manufactured ex vivo from peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from solid tumor patients using a steady-state apheresis. RAPA-201 is also being evaluated for the therapy of relapsed, refractory multiple myeloma and was granted Fast Track Status by the FDA for this indication. The novel RAPA-201 manufacturing platform, which incorporates both an mTOR inhibitor (temsirolimus) and an anti-cancer Th1/Tc1 polarizing agent (IFN-alpha) generates polyclonal T cells with five key characteristics: Th1/Tc1: polarization to anti-cancer Th1 and Tc1 subsets, with commensurate down-regulation of immune suppressive Th2 and regulatory T (TREG) subsets; T Central Memory: expression of a T central memory (TCM) phenotype, which promotes T cell engraftment and persistence for prolonged anti-tumor effects; Temsirolimus-Resistance: acquisition of temsirolimus-resistance, which translates into a multi-faceted anti-apoptotic phenotype that improves T cell fitness in the stringent conditions of the tumor microenvironment; T Cell Quiescence: reduced T cell activation, as evidence by reduced expression of the IL-2 receptor CD25, which reduces T cell-mediated cytokine toxicities such as cytokine-release syndrome (CRS) that limit other forms of T cell therapy; and Reduced Checkpoints: multiple checkpoint inhibitory receptors are markedly reduced on RAPA-201 cells (including but not limited to PD-1, CTLA4, TIM-3, LAG3, and LAIR1), which increases T cell immunity in the checkpoint-replete, immune suppressive tumor microenvironment. This is a Simon 2-stage, non-randomized, open label, multi-site, phase I/II trial of RAPA-201 T immune cell therapy in patients with advanced metastatic, recurrent, and unresectable solid tumors that have recurred or relapsed after prior immune therapy. Patients must have tumor relapse after at least one prior line of therapy and must have refractory status to the most recent regimen, which must include an anti-PD-(L)1 monoclonal antibody. Furthermore, accrual is limited to solid tumor disease types potentially amenable to standard-of-care salvage chemotherapy consisting of the carboplatin + paclitaxel (CP) regimen that will be utilized for host conditioning prior to RAPA-201 therapy. Importantly, carboplatin and paclitaxel are "immunogenic" chemotherapy agents whereby the resultant cancer cell death mechanism is favorable for generation of anti-tumor immune T cell responses. Thus, the CP regimen that this protocol incorporates is intended to directly control tumor progression and indirectly promote anti-tumor T cell immunity. The CP regimen is considered standard-of-care therapy for the following tumor types, which will be focused upon on this RAPA-201 protocol: small cell and non-small cell lung cancer; breast cancer (triple-negative sub-type or relapse after ovarian ablation/suppression); gastric cancer (esophageal and esophageal-gastric-junction adenocarcinoma; gastric adenocarcinoma; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma); head and neck cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of oral cavity, larynx, nasopharynx, and other sites); carcinoma of unknown primary; bladder cancer; and malignant melanoma. Protocol therapy consists of six cycles of standard-of-care chemotherapy (carboplatin + paclitaxel (CP) regimen) administered every 28 days (chemotherapy administered on cycles day 1, 8, and 15). RAPA-201 cells will be administered at a target flat dose of 400 X 10^6 cells per infusion on day 3 of cycles 2 through 6. A sample size of up to 22 patients was selected to determine whether RAPA-201 therapy, when used in combination with the CP regimen, represents an active regimen in solid tumors that are resistant to anti-PD(L)-1 checkpoint inhibitor therapy, as defined by a response rate (≥ PR) consistent with a rate of 35%. The first stage of protocol accrual will consist of n=10 patients; to advance to the second protocol accrual stage, RAPA-201 therapy must result in a tumor response (≥ PR) in at least 2 out of the 10 initial patients.

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