CAR T-cell Therapies Offer Hope for DLBCL

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies have quickly moved from early phase clinical trials to FDA approval for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), with research now exploring ways to shift these agents earlier in the treatment paradigm, according to a discussion at the 2nd Annual Live Medical Crossfire on Hematologic Malignancies.

The quick arrival of CAR T-cell therapies for DLBCL was preceded by several setbacks in clinical trials, which were attempting to improve on standard R-CHOP therapy. These failed strategies explored dose intensity, R-CHOP plus a maintenance therapy, R-CHOP with another agent added plus several other strategies, said program chair Anas Younes, MD.

The unmet need in relapsed/refractory DLBCL was further enhanced by an announcement on July 11, 2018, that the phase III PHOENIX trial combining ibrutinib (Imbruvica) with R-CHOP failed to meet its primary endpoint of improvement in event-free survival. This disappointment came despite very promising phase II findings. Data from the PHOENIX trial will be presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting, said Younes.

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