Clinical Edge

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Insurance type, distance traveled did not affect survival in DLBCL patients treated with CAR-T therapy

Key clinical point: Insurance type and distance traveled did not impact overall or progression frees survival.

Major finding: Patients with public insurance received CAR-T infusion more rapidly (P =.0080) than those with private insurance.

Study details: Retrospective review of 25 patients who received CAR-T infusion for DLBCL.

Disclosures: The authors did not report funding or conflicts.


“Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is FDA approved for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are relapsed or refractory to 2 or more lines of therapy. Access to this treatment may be impacted by insurance type and distance to a center that administers CAR T-cell therapy. Drs. Thiel et al report on 25 patients who received CAR T-cells at a single center. The authors found that those with Medicare or Medicaid received the therapy more quickly those with than private insurance, though this did not impact overall survival or progression free survival. Likewise, distance traveled to the CAR T-cell center (less than or equal to 120 miles versus greater than 120 miles) did not affect survival. This data is informative; similar information from larger groups of DLBCL patients will enable more definitive conclusions regarding access to CAR T-cell therapy and its impact on survival.”

Sarah Rutherford, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine

Disclosures: Dr. Rutherford serves as a consultant for BMS/Celgene/Juno and Kite Pharma.


Thiel G et al. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2020;26:S272.