Key Points

  • Tisagenlecleucel for secondary CNS lymphoma has an acceptable safety profile.

  • Preliminary results using tisagenlecleucel demonstrate activity in a heavily pretreated population.


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting CD19 have emerged as a leading engineered T-cell therapy for relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The phase 1/2 clinical trials that led to US Food and Drug Administration approval excluded patients with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, due to strict eligibility criteria. Here, we report on our institutional experience with 8 secondary CNS lymphoma patients treated with commercial tisagenlecleucel. No patient experienced greater than grade 1 neurotoxicity, and no patient required tocilizumab or steroids for CAR T-cell–mediated toxicities. Biomarker analysis suggested CAR T-cell expansion, despite the absence of systemic disease, and early response assessments demonstrated activity of IV infused CAR T cells within the CNS space.

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