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Long-term success for CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in CLL

Presented By
Dr Emily Liang, University of Washington, WA, USA
EBMT 2023

CAR T-cell therapy may be a solution for a subset of patients with heavily pre-treated, high-risk, ibrutinib-intolerant, relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (RR CLL), as shown by long-term follow-up data of a phase 2 trial.

“Although a phase 1/2 trial study showed promising efficacy data of CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in patients with RR CLL, the follow-up duration of this trial was limited to 1 year,” said Dr Emily Liang (University of Washington, WA, USA) [1]. The current phase 2 study included 55 patients with ibrutinib-intolerant RR CLL to receive 1 of 3 dose levels of JCAR014 CAR T-cell therapy [2]. In total, 49 participants were infused. These participants were followed for a median duration of 79.6 months to assess long-term outcomes.

The 28-day overall response rate was 70%. Similarly, 28-day MRD negativity (10-4) was achieved by 70% of the patients. Of the patients that reached MRD negativity by flow cytometry (10-4), 62% even reached MRD negativity by next-generation sequencing (10-6).

Subsequently, Dr Liang presented the long-term outcomes of the trial. She mentioned that the median duration of response was 18.9 months and that the 6-year duration of response rate was 26%. The median duration of response was significantly longer in patients who had MRD negativity (10-4) at day 28 compared with MRD-positive patients (27.1 months vs 1.8 months; Plog-rank<0.001).

These findings indicate that CD19 CAR T-cell therapy may be a viable option in heavily pre-treated patients with ibrutinib-intolerant RR CLL.

  1. Gauthier J, et al. Blood. 2020;135(19):1650–1660.
  2. Liang EC, et al. Factors associated with duration of response after CD19 CAR T-cell therapy for relapsed/refractory CLL: 6-year follow-up update. GS02-06, European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) 49th Annual Meeting, 23–26 April 2023, Paris, France.


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