Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells therapy demonstrated remarkable efficiency in refractory and relapsed diffuse large B cell lymphoma (R/R DLBCL). Antigen-loss potentially leads to failure after single-target CAR-T cellss therapy. Aim to evaluate the efficiency and safety of double-target CAR-T cellss therapy, we performed a phase Ⅰ/Ⅱ clinical trial of combination anti-CD19 and anti-CD20 CAR-T cellss therapy for R/R DLBCL.


A total of 21 patients were enrolled, and patients were monitored for treatment response, toxicity and persistence. Patients received a conditioning regimen of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide followed by infusion of anti-CD19 and anti-CD20 CAR-T cellss.


Of the 21 patients, 17 had objective response, and the ORR was 81.0% (95% CI, 58 to 95). 11 had CR, the CR rate was 52.4% (95% CI, 26 to 70). 4 of 9 patients in completed remission at 3 months remain in remission by 6 months, the CR rate was 44.4% (95% CI, 14 to 79). The median OS was 8.1 months (95% CI, 7 to 10) and the median PFS was 5.0 months (95% CI, 2 to 8). The median duration response was 6.8 months (95% CI, 4 to 10).

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) occurred in all patients. Of the 21 patients, 15 (71.4%) had grade 1-2 CRS, 6 (28.5%) had severe (≥grade 3) CRS, and no grade 5 CRS occurred. There were 5 patients with different degrees of neurotoxicity, namely CAR-T associated encephalopathy syndrome (CRES). There were 2 cases with grade 3 or above CRES, 5 of them were self-limited, and none of them died of severe CRS or CRES. There were significant differences in peak levels of IL-6 (P=0.004)、ferritin (P=0.008) and CRP (P=0.000) secretion between CRS 1-2 and CRS 3-4 patients within one month after CAR-T cell infusion.

In terms of hematological toxicity, there were 11 cases of neutropenia above grade 3 (52.4%), 6 cases of anemia (28.6%) and 6 cases of thrombocytopenia (28.6%).

After 12 patients with response and 1 patient without response received CAR-T cell therapy, CD19 cell subsets all disappeared after 2 weeks. The level of serum immunoglobulin in 14 patients with response decreased progressively after 1 week of treatment with CAR-T cells, and maintained at a relatively low level. Eight patients received intravenous immunoglobulin during CAR-T cell therapy.


Anti-CD19 combined with anti-CD20 CAR-T cell is effective in the treatment of R/R DLBCL patients.2. Anti-CD19 combined with anti-CD20 CAR-T cell therapy has the occurrence of CRS, CRES and hematological toxicity, and adverse reactions could be controlled. This is the first report to our knowledge of successful treatment of combination of anti-CD19 and anti-CD20 CAR-T cellss in R/R DLBCL. Our results provide strong support for further multiple-target CAR-T cells therapy, which could potentially resolve antigen-loss related failure.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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