The 60th Annual American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Diego featured a number of presentations that highlighted the promise of CAR-T therapy.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reported promising early results from a Phase Ib/II clinical trial that used autologous CAR-T cells to recognize and fight Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells. These CAR-T cells target the CD30 molecule and encode the CD28 endodomain. The majority of patients enrolled in the study had Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease affecting white blood cells that is considered one of the most curable cancers. However, in some patients, the disease can progress and become resistant to treatment. Prior to enrolling in the study, most patients had received more than seven treatments. In the presented study, the researchers administered lymphodepleting chemotherapy – prior to an infusion of the CAR-T cells. Of the patients who received the chemotherapy followed by infusion of CAR T-cells, 71% had a complete response.
Long-term safety and activity results were also presented for an approved CAR-T therapy, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel). 39% of large B cell lymphoma patients treated with Yescarta remained in remission more than two years (27.1 months median follow up) following therapy, and more than half of the patients treated remain alive. The corresponding article was published in The Lancet Oncology.
Data was also presented for Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), the other approved CAR-T therapy. In a global clinical trial, conducted across 27 sites in 10 countries, 115 patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma received an infusion of CAR-T cells. The overall response rate of evaluable patients was 54 percent, with 40% achieving a complete response. An earlier data set from the clinical trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Other presentations discussed allogeneic cell therapies, improvements to CAR design, combination therapies, and more. A full list of abstracts is available from the American Society of Hematology.