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In short videos with accompanying text, Dr. Brian Koffman, the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the CLL Society, takes us through his “Top 12” abstracts from ASCO or the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting held virtually in May, 2020.
ASCO 2020: Long-term follow-up of anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy for B-cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
CAR-T therapy tends to be reserved for the toughest of the tough patients, those who have failed multiple lines of therapy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported their long-term data on patients treated between 11 and 5 years ago in the early days of CAR-T on a mixed group of patients with various B cell lymphomas and CLL.
- 43 patients with lymphoma, including 7 with CLL, were treated at the National Institutes of Health between 2009 and 2015 with an anti-CD-19 CAR-T that later was commercially developed as YESCARTA (axicabtagene ciloleucel).
- 63% had chemotherapy-refractory lymphoma. Patients had received a median of 4 prior lines of therapy — this was a tough group to treat.
- 88% of the CLL patients responded, and 63% had a complete response (CR).
- CLL patients averaged almost 6 years of maintaining a complete remission.
- Having a greater expansion of the CAR-T cells, but not a greater persistence of the CAR-T cells was associated with more durable remissions.
- All the long remissions were in patients who reached a CR.
The numbers are small, but they are promising, and as the researchers say, the durability of the response raises the possibility, but does not prove, that CAR-T therapy might be curative for some patients.
This is pretty exciting news.
There are no CAR-T therapies currently approved for CLL, but we are working to change that. Trials need to be filled and results presented to keep the momentum going.
For more background on CAR-T, please see the CAR-T section of the CLL Society website.
Here is my video overview:
Stay strong and safe, we are all in this together.
Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society, Inc.