CAR T-cell therapy shows promising benefits in adult relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma
The results of ELARA, a large international trial investigating the treatment of relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CART-cell) tisagenlecleucel have been published.
A remarkable 69.1 per cent of patients treated with tisagenlecleucel had a complete response (no detectable disease) to treatment. Overall, 86.2 per cent of treated patients responded to treatment with either no detectable disease or a reduction in tumour size. The progression-free survival rate for the overall population at 12 months was 67 per cent.
A complete response is one of the predictors of long-term benefits in follicular lymphoma.
Approximately 20 per cent of patients with follicular lymphoma have disease progression within two years of receiving chemoimmunotherapy with a poor prognosis despite subsequent treatments. Based on the results of the ELARA trial, treatment with CAR T-cell therapy looks like a very promising option.
The trial included 97 patients with a median age of 57. All patients had relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after receiving two or more treatment lines or had relapsed after an autologous stem cell transplant. The treatment group received a single infusion of tisagenlecleucel and were routinely followed up for an average of 16 months following the infusion.
CART-cell therapy does carry adverse effects which most patients experienced; however, all side effects were manageable.
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Fowler, N. H., Dickinson, M., Dreyling, M., Martinez-Lopez, J., Kolstad, A., Butler, J., Ghosh, M., Popplewell, L., Chavez, J. C., Bachy, E., Kato, K., Harigae, H., Kersten, M. J., Andreadis, C., Riedell, P. A., Ho, P. J., Pérez-Simón, J. A., Chen, A. I., Nastoupil, L. J., … Thieblemont, C.. (2021). Tisagenlecleucel in adult relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma: the phase 2 ELARA trial. Nature Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01622-0