CAR-T Therapy Shows Great Success in Treating Lymphoma

Since its FDA approval in 2017, CAR-T therapy has shown great promise in effectively treating challenging cancer types, like large B-cell lymphoma. Exciting new research backs up that initial assessment, as revealed at a recent meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

The data comes from two biopharmaceutical companies – Kite Pharma and Bristol Myers Squibb – that recently landed in the third phase of their studies. They both found that CAR-T therapy outperforms current treatments used for relapsed and refractory large B-cell lymphoma, opening the doors for a new standard of care.

Although all the results are not in quite yet, their findings give hope to medical providers and their patients. Here’s what they found.

Breyanzi Proves Much More Effective Than Current Treatments

While sharing data from their Phase III TRANSFORM study, Bristol Myers Squibb revealed that their CAR-T therapy, Breyanzi, worked better than the current standard of care. A CD19-directed therapy, Breyanzi served as an effective second-line treatment in adults with refractory or relapsed large B-cell lymphoma.

When compared to standard treatments, their therapy had a median event-free survival rate of 10 months instead of just 2.3 months or a 65% improvement. Breyanzi showed an improvement to progression-free survival as well, extending the timeframe to 14.8 months from 5.7 months with the standard of care.

Partial and complete responses improved, too, making Breyanzi a much more reliable treatment for this type of cancer. With the standard of care, patients achieved a partial or complete response 48% of the time. With Breyanzi, that rate jumps to 86%. Complete responses occur in 66% of patients with CAR-T therapy, compared to just 39% with the standard line of treatment.

When compared to the current standard, patients report that CAR-T therapy treatments maintain or improve their quality of life. They share more favorable outcomes overall, making it a welcome second-line treatment for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.

Yescarta Achieves Similar Results in Treatment of Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Operating as a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, Kite Pharma shared similar data from their Phase III ZUMA-7 study. The data revolves around their proprietary CAR-T therapy treatment, Yescarta, and compares its effectiveness to the current standard of care.

As it’s the first CAR-T cell therapy approved by the FDA for treatment of refractory and relapsed large B-cell lymphoma in adults, their study had a lot of hopeful people watching for the results. Now that they’re in the third phase of the trial, they’re finally able to share their data in hopes of changing the current treatment approach.

Their findings show that Yescarta achieved a 2.5-fold increase in the number of patients who survived at least two years without their cancer progressing or further treatments needed. When it came to event-free survival, their data revealed a four-fold increase.

Across all patients, the five-year survival rate with Yescarta landed at 42% and increased to 64% in patients with a complete response. Furthermore, 92% of patients who survive more than five years do not need any additional treatments, pointing to CAR-T therapy as a cure for this type of cancer. When compared to the current standard of care, their long-term data showed that patients enjoy an improvement to their quality of life as well.

All the improvements proved consistent regardless of patient subgroups and disease type. Even double expressor lymphoma and triple-hit lymphoma patients responded to their CAR-T therapy in kind.

More Successful CAR-T Therapy Treatments Likely on the Horizon

With CAR-T therapy showing so much potential to improve the current standard of care, there are likely to be many more successful treatments on the horizon. Medical providers will have many more care tools at their disposal as a result, allowing them to give their patients the highest quality of care. A new standard of care can give patients much more hope for great outcomes as well, making it all worthwhile to the researchers putting their all into developing new treatments for large B-cell lymphoma.

Post Author: Frida Anders