Conference Coverage

CAR T before transplant yields durable remission in B-cell malignancies



– Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy may be an effective bridge to hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for high-risk B-cell malignancies, according to a systematic analysis of patient data from the National Cancer Institute.

Additionally, patients who have received CAR T-cell therapy are likely to enter HCT with a minimal residual disease (MRD)–negative complete response, which raises the possibility of a significantly less intense conditioning regimen that could omit total body irradiation (TBI), Haneen Shalabi, DO, said at the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

“Patients who underwent HCT post–CAR T therapy did not have increased transplant-related morbidity or mortality,” said Dr. Shalabi, a pediatric oncologist in the hematologic diseases division of the National Cancer Institute’s pediatric oncology branch.

The combined approach also overcomes the frequent relapses seen after CAR T-cell therapy in this population. Of the 45 patients who received CAR T-cell therapy and achieved MRD-negative complete response as measured by flow cytometry, 20 did not go on to receive HCT. Of the 20 who didn’t receive HCT, 16 (80%) relapsed; 19 of the 20 (95%) had received prior HCT, said Dr. Shalabi.


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