ASH 2020: ZUMA-12 Trial Exhibits Promising Results in Frontline CAR T Treatment for Aggressive Lymphoma

SAB member Sven de Vos, MD, PhD and LRF grantees contributed to the ZUMA-12 trial.

Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, appeared an effective frontline (initial) treatment for high-risk large B-cell lymphomas, according to results of the ZUMA-12 study — the first study to evaluate CAR T cell therapy as frontline therapy for high-risk large B-cell lymphomas. Several CAR T cell therapies are currently approved for the treatment of relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The researchers, including various LRF-affiliated scientists, enrolled and leukapheresed (a procedure in which white blood cells are separated from blood) a total of 37 patients. Thirty-two patients were evaluated for safety at a median follow-up of 9.5 months, and 27 patients were evaluated for efficacy at a median follow-up of 9.3 months. The patients’ enrolled median age was 61 years, and most had advanced-stage disease (stages III and IV).

The objective response rate was 81 percent, and the complete response rate was 74 percent, with a median time to both response rates within one month. Four patients converted from partial response to complete response, and one patient converted from stable disease to complete response. The researchers note a higher frequency in one specific T-cell, CCR7+CD45RA+, in the pre-infusion product, which suggests improved T-cell fitness in frontline treatment.

This study included contributions from Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member Sven de Vos, MD, PhD of David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; LRF grantees Alex F. Herrera, MD of City of Hope National Medical Center; Peter Riedell, MD of The University of Chicago Medicine; and LRF Marginal Zone Lymphoma International Scientific Workshop Steering Committee member Catherine Thieblemont, MD, PhD of Hôpital Saint-Louis.


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Widely regarded as the premier event in malignant and non-malignant hematology, the virtual ASH Annual Meeting held from December 5-8, 2020 provided a critical forum for leading hematologists /oncologists to present their findings to over 20,000 of their peers.
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