for people ages 18-70 (full criteria)
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Anusha Kalbasi (ucla)



This phase I trial studies the side effects and best dose of modified immune cells (IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells) after a chemotherapy conditioning regimen for the treatment of patients with stage IIIC or IV melanoma or solid tumors that have spread to other places in the body (metastatic). The study agent is called IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells. T cells are a special type of white blood cell (immune cells) that have the ability to kill tumor cells. The T cells are obtained from the patient's own blood, grown in a laboratory, and modified by adding the IL13Ralpha2 CAR gene. The IL13Ralpha2 CAR gene is inserted into T cells with a virus called a lentivirus. The lentivirus allows cells to make the IL13Ralpha2 CAR protein. This CAR has been designed to bind to a protein on the surface of tumor cells called IL13Ralpha2. This study is being done to determine the dose at which the gene-modified immune cells are safe, how long the cells stay in the body, and if the cells are able to attack the cancer.

Official Title

Phase 1 Dose Escalation Study of Systemically Administered IL13Ra2 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cells After a Nonmyeloablative Conditioning Regimen in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma and Other Solid Tumors



  1. To evaluate the safety of systemic administration of IL13Ralpha2-redirected CAR T cells, including determination of the maximum tolerated dose (MTD).


  1. Clinical response. II. Determine the infiltration of IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells into the tumor. III. Determine the persistence of IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells in the peripheral blood.


  1. Evaluate the induction of endogenous anti-tumor T cell responses in patients receiving IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cell therapy.

II. Assess for the occurrence of cytokine release syndrome in patients receiving IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells by evaluating plasma cytokine levels.

OUTLINE: This is a dose-escalation study of IL13Ralpha2-specific hinge-optimized 4-1BB-co-stimulatory CAR/truncated CD19-expressing autologous TN/MEM cells (IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells) followed by a dose-expansion study.

Patients may receive cyclophosphamide intravenously (IV) over 60 minutes on days -5 to -3 and fludarabine phosphate IV over 15-30 minutes on days -5 to -2. Patients then receive IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells IV on day 0. Patients also undergo biopsy at baseline and on study, computed tomography (CT), or positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scan at screening and on study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) throughout the trial, and collection of blood samples throughout the trial. Patients with disease progression may receive a second cycle with an infusion of IL13Ralpha2 CAR T cells.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed every 2-3 months for 2 years, every 6 months for 3 years, then every year for at least 15 years.


Metastatic Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Metastatic Melanoma, Pathologic Stage IIIC Cutaneous Melanoma AJCC v8, Pathologic Stage IV Cutaneous Melanoma AJCC v8, Recurrent Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Refractory Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Uveal Melanoma, Acral Melanoma, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Paraganglioma, Pheochromocytoma, Adrenocortical Carcinoma, Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor, Thyroid Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Adenocarcinoma, Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Carcinoma, Neoplasms, Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck, Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma, Skin Neoplasms, Adenocarcinoma of Lung, Deoxyglucose, Cyclophosphamide, Fludarabine, Fludarabine phosphate, Fluorodeoxyglucose F18, Biopsy, Biospecimen Collection, Computed Tomography, Fludeoxyglucose F-18, IL13Ralpha2-specific Hinge-optimized 4-1BB-co-stimulatory CAR/Truncated CD19-expressing Autologous TN/MEM Cells, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-70

  • Histologically confirmed malignancy that is considered surgically incurable with either:
    • Stage IIIC melanoma including locally relapsed, satellite, in-transit lesions or bulky draining node metastasis
    • Stage IV melanoma including patients with known brain metastases
    • Other metastatic, non-central nervous system (CNS) solid tumor relapsed or refractory after all standard-of-care systemic therapies for which the patient is eligible
  • Confirmed IL13Ralpha2 tumor expression by immunohistochemistry (immunohistochemical assay [IHA] H-Score >= 50 in at least 10% of the total tumor specimen and in at least two high-power fields)
  • Age greater than or equal to 18 years old and less than 70 years old
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0 or 1
  • A minimum of one measurable lesion defined as:
    • Meeting the criteria for measurable disease according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), OR
    • Skin lesion(s) selected as non-completely biopsied target lesion(s) that can be accurately measured and recorded by color photography with a ruler to document the size of the target lesion(s)
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1 x 109 cells/L (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Platelets >= 75 x 109/L (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Hemoglobin >= 9.5 g/dL (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Aspartate and alanine aminotransferases (AST, ALT) =< 2.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Total bilirubin =< 2 x ULN (except patients with documented Gilbert's syndrome) (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Creatinine < 2 mg/dL (or a glomerular filtration rate > 45) (determined within 30-60 days prior to enrollment; re-evaluated within 14 days of beginning conditioning chemotherapy)
  • Patients with melanoma must have progressed following >= 1 line of systemic therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitor and a BRAF inhibitor in combination with MEK inhibitor for patients with BRAF V600-activating mutation and is not considered to have an alternate treatment option with curative intent
  • Must be willing and able to accept at least one leukapheresis procedure (This does not apply for patients receiving a second infusion of IL13R a2 CAR T cells as they will not undergo leukapheresis)
  • Must be willing and able to provide written informed consent

You CAN'T join if...

  • Inability to purify >= 1 x 107 T cells from leukapheresis product (this does not apply to patients receiving a second infusion of IL13Ra2 CAR T cells as they will not undergo leukapheresis)
  • Previously known hypersensitivity to any of the agents used in this study; known sensitivity to cyclophosphamide or fludarabine
  • Received systemic treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy, within 14 days prior to initiation of conditioning chemotherapy administration within this protocol
  • Clinically active brain metastases. Radiological documentation of absence of active brain metastases at screening is required for all patients. Prior evidence of brain metastasis successfully treated with surgery or radiation therapy will not be exclusion for participation as long as they are deemed under control at the time of study enrollment
  • Potential requirement for systemic corticosteroids or concurrent immunosuppressive drugs based on prior history or received systemic steroids within the last 2 weeks prior to enrollment; not including patients with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency who require physiologic replacement with steroids, or patients on inhaled or topical steroids at standard doses
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity or other congenital or acquired immune deficiency state, which would increase the risk of opportunistic infections and other complications during chemotherapy-induced lymphodepletion. If there is a positive result in the infectious disease testing that was not previously known, the patient will be referred to their primary physician and/or infectious disease specialist
  • Hepatitis B or C seropositivity with evidence of ongoing liver damage, which would increase the likelihood of hepatic toxicities from the chemotherapy conditioning regimen and supportive treatments. If there is a positive result in the infectious disease testing that was not previously known, the patient will be referred to their primary physician and/or infectious disease specialist
  • Dementia or significantly altered mental status that would prohibit the understanding or rendering of informed consent and compliance with the requirements of this protocol
  • A Tiffeneau-Pinelli index < 70% of the predicted value. Subjects will be excluded if pulmonary function tests indicate they have insufficient pulmonary capability
  • Patients will be excluded if they have a history of clinically significant electrocardiography (ECG) abnormalities, symptoms of cardiac ischemia or arrhythmias and have a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < 45% on a cardiac stress test (stress thallium, stress multigated acquisition scan (MUGA), dobutamine echocardiogram, or other stress test)
  • Patients with ECG results of any conduction delays (PR interval > 200 ms, corrected QT (QTC) > 480 ms), sinus bradycardia (resting heart rate < 50 beats per minute), sinus tachycardia (HR > 120 beats per minute) will be evaluated by a cardiologist prior to starting the trial. Patients with any arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, excessive ectopy (defined as > 20 ventricular premature complex [PVC]s per minute), ventricular tachycardia, 3rd degree heart block will be excluded from the study unless cleared by a cardiologist
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Female patients must be surgically sterile or be postmenopausal for two years, or must agree to use effective contraception during the period of treatment and for 6 months afterwards. All female patients with reproductive potential must have a negative pregnancy test (serum/urine) at screening and again within 14 days from starting the conditioning chemotherapy. The definition of effective contraception will be based on the judgment of the study investigators. Patients who are breastfeeding are not allowed on this study
  • A concomitant active malignancy that would be considered to interfere with the assessment of the primary or secondary endpoints of the study


  • UCLA / Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Phase 1 research study
Study Type
Expecting 18 study participants
Last Updated