Background: Tisagenlecleucel is an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy that is approved for adult patients (pts) with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (r/r DLBCL). In the phase 2 JULIET trial, pts could receive bridging therapy (BT), when needed, to permit flexibility in scheduling and maintain disease control. Lymphodepleting chemotherapy (LDC) was started 5-14 days prior to CAR-T cell infusion. Here we present baseline characteristics, efficacy/safety outcomes, and cellular kinetics by BT and type of LDC used in the JULIET trial.

Methods: Pts were categorized based on BT or no BT, as well as LDC (cyclophosphamide/fludarabine [Cy/Flu; 250 and 25 mg/m2 IV daily for 3 doses, respectively] or bendamustine [90 mg/m2 IV daily for 2 days]) or no LDC, received prior to tisagenlecleucel infusion. Cy/Flu was the proposed regimen for LDC, followed by bendamustine (if the pt experienced previous grade [G] 4 hemorrhagic cystitis with Cy or demonstrated resistance to a previous Cy-containing regimen). LDC was not required if white blood cell count was <1000 cells/μL within 1 week prior to infusion. Best overall response rate (ORR) was defined as complete response (CR) + partial response (PR). Event-free probability estimates and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were obtained using Kaplan-Meier method. The 95% CIs for ORR were obtained using exact Clopper-Pearson method. The time course of transgene copies per microgram of genomic DNA, as measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), was utilized to estimate the cellular kinetic parameters (maximal expansion of CAR-T cells in vivo, Cmax; time to maximal expansion, Tmax; and area under the curve from time of infusion to day 28, AUC0-28d).

Results: Of the 115 pts infused, 104 received BT (90 systemic therapy alone, 13 systemic therapy in combination with radiation therapy, and 1 radiation therapy alone) and 11 pts did not receive BT. For LDC, 85 pts received Cy/Flu, 22 bendamustine, and 8 pts did not receive LDC. Baseline and disease characteristics across the different BT and LDC categories are presented (Table). Of note, 90.9% (10/11) of pts who did not receive BT had baseline ECOG performance status 0, whereas 52.9% of pts who received BT had ECOG 0.

Pts who did not receive BT had an ORR of 81.8% (63.6% complete response [CR]); in pts who received BT, the ORR was 49.0% (35.6% CR) (Table). Progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 12 months was 60.6% in pts who did not receive BT and 32.0% in pts who received BT. Among LDC groups, pts who received Cy/Flu had an ORR of 57.6% (41.2% CR) and 12-month PFS rate of 39.1%, whereas those who received bendamustine had an ORR of 40.9% (31.8% CR) and 12-month PFS rate of 21.2%. These differences were not statistically significant. Among pts who did not receive LDC, only 2/8 achieved a response (ORR 25% [25% CR]) and 12-month PFS rate was 25%.

Rates of selected adverse events reported within ≤8 weeks post-infusion, >8 weeks to ≤1 year post-infusion, >1 year post-infusion, and any time after infusion were generally consistent across BT and LDC groups for prolonged cytopenias, neurological events (NE), cytokine release syndrome (CRS), and infection (Table). Of note, among pts who did not receive BT, only 1 G3 CRS and 1 G3 NE were reported, and no G4 CRS or NE were reported. Additionally, the rate of cytopenias not resolved by day 28 post-infusion was lowest among pts who did not receive BT (1/11 pts). However, cytopenias resolved to ≤G2 by month 3 or month 6 in the majority of pts.

Cmax, Tmax, and exposure (AUC0-28d) were similar between LDC groups (Table). Cmax and AUC0-28d were also similar between pts who received BT and those who did not.

Additional analyses of subgroups will be presented at the congress.

Conclusions: The majority of pts enrolled in the JULIET trial received BT and LDC, indicating high tumor burden and aggressive disease in this pt population with r/r DLBCL. Although the sample size is small (n=11), pts not requiring BT appeared to have less aggressive disease, achieved high response rates, and had no G4 CRS or NE. Pts who did not receive LDC (n=8) seemed to have low response rates, suggesting either the impact of prior therapy, the importance of LDC, or both. Further evaluation of the impact of BT and LDC on clinical outcomes on larger patient population will be possible with the availability of registry data.

Clinical trial information: NCT02445248

Disclosures

Andreadis:Genentech: Consultancy, Employment; Merck: Research Funding; Roche: Equity Ownership; Novartis: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Juno: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Gilead: Consultancy; Kite: Consultancy; Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy. Tam:BeiGene: Honoraria; Roche: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria; Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company: Honoraria; AbbVie: Honoraria, Research Funding. Borchmann:Novartis: Honoraria, Research Funding. Jaeger:Novartis, Roche, Sandoz: Consultancy; AbbVie, Celgene, Gilead, Novartis, Roche, Takeda Millennium: Research Funding; Amgen, AbbVie, Celgene, Eisai, Gilead, Janssen, Novartis, Roche, Takeda Millennium, MSD, BMS, Sanofi: Honoraria; Celgene, Roche, Janssen, Gilead, Novartis, MSD, AbbVie, Sanofi: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. McGuirk:Astellas: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Fresenius Biotech: Research Funding; Gamida Cell: Research Funding; Pluristem Ltd: Research Funding; ArticulateScience LLC: Other: Assistance with manuscript preparation; Juno Therapeutics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Kite Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Bellicum Pharmaceuticals: Research Funding. Holte:Novartis: Honoraria, Other: Advisory board. Waller:Novartis: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Other: Travel expenses, Research Funding; Cerus Corporation: Other: Stock, Patents & Royalties; Chimerix: Other: Stock; Cambium Oncology: Patents & Royalties: Patents, royalties or other intellectual property ; Amgen: Consultancy; Kalytera: Consultancy. Jaglowski:Unum Therapeutics Inc.: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Other: advisory board, Research Funding; Juno: Consultancy, Other: advisory board; Kite: Consultancy, Other: advisory board, Research Funding. Bishop:Celgene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Juno: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; CRISPR Therapeutics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Kite: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau. Foley:Celgene: Speakers Bureau; Amgen: Speakers Bureau; Janssen: Speakers Bureau. Westin:Curis: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; Janssen: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; Juno: Other: Advisory Board; Celgene: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; 47 Inc: Research Funding; Genentech: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; Novartis: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; MorphoSys: Other: Advisory Board; Unum: Research Funding; Kite: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding. Fleury:Gilead: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria; Roche: Consultancy, Honoraria; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria; Abbvie: Consultancy, Honoraria; AstraZeneca: Consultancy. Ho:Novartis: Other: Trial Investigator meeting travel costs; La Jolla: Other: Trial Investigator meeting travel costs; Janssen: Other: Trial Investigator meeting travel costs; Celgene: Other: Trial Investigator meeting travel costs. Mielke:DGHO: Other: Travel support; IACH: Other: Travel support; EBMT/EHA: Other: Travel support; Miltenyi: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel and speakers fee (via institution), Speakers Bureau; GILEAD: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: travel (via institution), Speakers Bureau; Jazz Pharma: Honoraria, Other: Travel support, Speakers Bureau; Kiadis Pharma: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel support (via institution), Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Honoraria, Other: Travel support (via institution), Speakers Bureau; ISCT: Other: Travel support; Bellicum: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel (via institution). Teshima:Novartis: Honoraria, Research Funding. Salles:Epizyme: Consultancy, Honoraria; Amgen: Honoraria, Other: Educational events; Autolus: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Roche, Janssen, Gilead, Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Educational events; Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Educational events; BMS: Honoraria; Merck: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis, Servier, AbbVie, Karyopharm, Kite, MorphoSys: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Educational events. Schuster:Novartis: Patents & Royalties: Combination Therapies of CAR and PD-1 Inhibitors (royalties to Novartis); i3Health, Dava Oncology, Novartis, OncLive, PER Oncology: Speakers Bureau; AbbVie, Acerta, Celgene, DTRM Bio, Genentech, Incyte, Merck, Novartis, Portola, TG therapeutics: Research Funding; AbbVie, Celgene, Novartis, Nordic Nanovector, Pfizer: Other: steering committee; Acerta, AstraZeneca, Celgene, Juno, LoxoOncology, Novartis: Other: advisory board; i3Health, Acerta, AstraZeneca, Celgene, Dava Oncology, Juno, LoxoOncology, Novartis, Nordic Nanovector, OncLive, PER Oncology, Pfizer: Honoraria. Bachanova:Kite: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Research Funding; Gamida Cell: Research Funding; GT Biopharma: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Maziarz:Novartis: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Consultancy, Honoraria; Celgene/Juno: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Kite: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Van Besien:Miltenyi Biotec: Research Funding. Izutsu:Eisai, Chugai, Zenyaku: Honoraria; Kyowa Kirin, Eisai, Takeda, MSD, Chugai, Nihon Medi-physics, Janssen, Ono, Abbvie, Dainihon Sumitomo, Bayer, Astra Zeneca, HUYA Japan, Novartis, Bristol-Byers Squibb, Mundi, Otsuka, Daiichi Sankyo, Astellas, Asahi Kasei: Honoraria; Celgene: Consultancy; Eisai, Symbio, Chugai, Zenyaku: Research Funding; Chugai, Celgene, Daiichi Sankyo, Astra Zeneca, Eisai, Symbio, Ono, Bayer, Solasia, Zenyaku, Incyte, Novartis, Sanofi, HUYA Bioscience, MSD, Astellas Amgen, Abbvie, ARIAD, Takeda, Pfizer: Research Funding. Wagner-Johnston:Gilead: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Jannsen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Bayer: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; ADC Therapeutics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Corradini:Amgen: Honoraria; Celgene: Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; AbbVie: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; Daiichi Sankyo: Honoraria; Gilead: Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; Janssen: Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; Jazz Pharmaceutics: Honoraria; KiowaKirin: Honoraria; Kite: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; Roche: Honoraria; Sanofi: Honoraria; Servier: Honoraria; Takeda: Honoraria, Other: Travel Costs; BMS: Other: Travel Costs. Tiwari:Novartis: Employment. Awasthi:Novartis: Employment. Lawniczek:Novartis: Employment. Eldjerou:Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation: Employment. Kersten:MSD: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Janssen/Cilag: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Kite: Consultancy, Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Roche: Consultancy, Research Funding, Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Bristol Myers Squibb: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Celgene: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Gilead: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Amgen: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Roche: Other: Travel grants, honorarium, or advisory boards; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.