CAR T-Cell Therapy Lies Ahead for the Future of Cancer Treatment
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has the potential to replace chemoimmunotherapy for second-line treatment of patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) that have relapsed or are refractory to first-line therapy, results of the phase 3 ZUMA-7 and TRANSFORM trials suggest.
In the ZUMA-7 trial, at a median follow-up of 24.9 months, patients randomly assigned to receive CAR T-cell therapy with axicabtagene ciloleucel, or axi-cell (Yescarta) had a median event-free survival (EFS) of 8.3 months, compared with 2 months for patients randomly assigned to standard-of-care chemoimmunotherapy, reported Frederick L. Locke, MD, from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.
In TRANSFORM, comparing the CAR T construct lisocabtagene maraleucel, or liso-cel (Breyanzi) with standard-of-care second-line chemotherapy, median EFS was 10.1 months with liso-cel, compared with 2.3 months with the standard of care, reported Manali Kamdar, MD, from the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora.
The trials differed slightly in eligibility criteria and other details, but their overall results show great promise for improving second-line therapy for patients with relapsed or refractory large B cell lymphomas (LBCL), commented Laurie Sehn, MD, MPH, from the BC Cancer Centre for Lymphoid Cancer in Vancouver, Canada.
"It's really remarkable that the results are so far in favour of the CAR T-cell therapy that I think it's inevitable that this will become the standard of care," Sehn commented. She was not an investigator on either of the two trials.
In an interview with Medscape Medical News, Locke said that, based on the findings of ZUMA-7 trial that he presented, it's likely that chemotherapy in the second-line setting for relapsed/refractory LBCL will largely fall by the wayside.
The first question is to identify the patients who can tolerate CAR T-cell therapy. "We need to refer these patients to a CAR T-cell center to make that decision. That decision really can't be made in the local oncologist's office," he said. "That being said, there are patients who need urgent therapy, and they may need to get second-line chemotherapy right away."
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