Background: Patients with advanced-stage iNHL, including follicular lymphoma (FL) and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), frequently relapse with standard treatment, underscoring a need for novel therapies. Axi-cel autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is approved for the treatment of R/R large B cell lymphoma after ≥ 2 lines of systemic therapy. Here, we present the primary analysis of ZUMA-5, a Phase 2, multicenter, single-arm study of axi-cel in patients with R/R iNHL.

Methods: Adults with FL (Grades 1-3a) or MZL (nodal or extranodal) had R/R disease after ≥ 2 lines of therapy (must include an anti-CD20 mAb plus an alkylating agent), and ECOG 0 - 1. Patients underwent leukapheresis followed by conditioning therapy (cyclophosphamide/fludarabine) and a single infusion of axi-cel at 2 × 106 CAR T cells/kg. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) by central review (per Lugano classification; Cheson, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2014). Secondary endpoints included complete response (CR) rate, duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), incidence of adverse events (AEs), and levels of CAR T cells in blood and cytokines in serum. The primary efficacy analysis occurred when ≥ 80 treated patients with FL had ≥ 12-months follow-up.

Results: As of 3/12/2020, 146 patients with iNHL (124 FL; 22 MZL) received axi-cel; 84 patients with FL had ≥ 12-months follow-up. The median age was 61 years (range, 34 - 79); 57% of patients were male. Thirty-eight percent of patients had ECOG 1, 86% had stage III/IV disease, 47% had ≥ 3 FLIPI, and 49% had high tumor bulk (GELF). Patients had a median 3 prior lines of therapy (range, 1 - 10); 64% had ≥ 3 prior lines. Progression < 2 years after initial chemoimmunotherapy (POD24) occurred in 55% of patients, and 68% were refractory to last prior treatment. Axi-cel was successfully manufactured for all enrolled patients.

With a median follow-up of 17.5 months (range, 1.4 - 31.6), the ORR was 92% among efficacy-evaluable patients with iNHL (n = 104), with a 76% CR rate. In patients with FL (n = 84), the ORR was 94% (80% CR rate); in those with MZL (n = 20), the ORR was 85% (60% CR rate). ORR was comparable across key risk groups analyzed by FLIPI, POD24, GELF, refractory status, and prior lines of therapy. As of the data cutoff, 62% of all treated patients had ongoing responses (64% for FL). The medians for DOR, PFS, and OS were not reached; 12-month estimated rates were 72% (95% CI, 61 - 80), 74% (95% CI, 63 - 82), and 93% (95% CI, 86 - 97), respectively.

AEs of any grade occurred in 99% of all treated patients. Grade ≥ 3 AEs occurred in 86% of patients with iNHL (85% in FL; 95% in MZL), most commonly neutropenia (33%), decreased neutrophil count (27%), and anemia (23%). Grade ≥ 3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS; per Lee, et al, Blood. 2014) occurred in 7% of patients with iNHL (6% in FL; 9% in MZL). Grade ≥ 3 neurologic events (NEs; per CTCAE v4.03) occurred in 19% of patients with iNHL (15% in FL; 41% in MZL). Most CRS (118/119) and NEs (81/87) of any grade resolved by data cutoff. Grade 5 AEs occurred in 3 patients: multisystem organ failure in the context of CRS (Day 7; related to axi-cel; n = 1 FL), aortic dissection (Day 399; unrelated to axi-cel; n = 1 FL), and coccidioidomycosis infection (Day 327; unrelated to axi-cel; n = 1 MZL).

The median peak CAR T cell level was 38 cells/µL (range, 0 - 1415) in all treated patients with iNHL, with 36 cells/µL (range, 0 - 1415) in those with FL and 53 cells/µL (range, 2 - 453) in those with MZL. The AUC0 - 28 was 448 cells/µL × days (range, 6 - 19,900) in all treated patients with iNHL, with 422 cells/µL × days (range, 6 - 19,900) and 552 cells/µL × days (range, 13 - 6468) in those with FL and MZL, respectively. The median time to peak was 9 days (range, 8 - 371) in all patients, 8 days (range, 8 - 371) in patients with FL, and 15 days (range, 8 - 29) in patients with MZL. In efficacy-evaluable patients with FL, median peak CAR T cell levels were numerically greater in those with ongoing response at 12 months than in those who relapsed (P = .057). In all treated patients with FL, CAR T cell peak was associated with Grade ≥ 3 CRS (P = .031) and NEs (P = .005).

Conclusions: Axi-cel had considerable and durable clinical benefit in patients with iNHL, with high ORR and CR rates. Axi-cel had a manageable safety profile, with lower rates of Grade ≥ 3 NEs observed in patients with FL vs those in patients with MZL and those previously reported in aggressive NHL (Locke, et al. Lancet Oncol. 2019).

Disclosures

Chavez:Genentech: Speakers Bureau; Epizyme: Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Consultancy; Verastem: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; AstraZeneca: Speakers Bureau; Morphosys: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Merck: Research Funding; Bayer: Consultancy; BeiGene: Speakers Bureau; Karyopharm: Consultancy; AbbVie: Consultancy. Sehgal:Juno Therapeutics: Research Funding; TP Therapeutics: Research Funding; Prothena: Research Funding; Gilead Sciences: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding. William:Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Incyte: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Dova: Research Funding; Guidepoint Global: Consultancy; Kyowa Kirin: Consultancy, Honoraria. Munoz:Incyte: Research Funding; Fosunkite: Consultancy; Innovent: Consultancy; Acrotech/Aurobindo: Speakers Bureau; Verastem: Speakers Bureau; AstraZeneca: Speakers Bureau; Genentech/Roche: Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; AbbVie: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Kyowa: Consultancy, Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Bayer: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Juno/Celgene/BMS: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Alexion: Consultancy; Beigene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Merck: Research Funding; Portola: Research Funding; Millenium: Research Funding. Salles:BMS/Celgene: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Kite, a Gilead Company: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role ; Epizyme: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Janssen: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; MorphoSys: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Novartis: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Roche: Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Abbvie: Other: consultancy or advisory role; Autolos: Other: consultancy or advisory role; Debiopharm: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: consultancy or advisory role; Genmab: Honoraria, Other; Karyopharm: Honoraria; Takeda: Honoraria. Munshi:Kite, a Gilead Company: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Maloney:Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Bioline Rx: Consultancy, Honoraria; Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Patents & Royalties, Research Funding; Gilead Science: Consultancy, Honoraria; Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria; A2 Biotherapeutics: Consultancy, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Honoraria; Genentech: Consultancy, Honoraria. de Vos:Bayer: Consultancy; Verastem: Consultancy. Reshef:Kiadis: Research Funding; Monsanto: Consultancy; Novartis: Honoraria; Magenta: Consultancy; Atara: Consultancy, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Takeda: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Immatics: Research Funding; Shire: Research Funding; Bluebird: Research Funding; Gilead: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel support, Research Funding. Leslie:Epizyme: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Karyopharm: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Bayer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; ADC therapeutics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; AbbVie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Speakers Bureau; BMS: Speakers Bureau; KitePharma: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; BeiGene: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; AstraZeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau. Yakoub-Agha:Celgene: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria; Gilead/Kite: Honoraria, Other: travel support; Janssen: Honoraria; Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria. Oluwole:Bayer: Consultancy; Spectrum Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Pfizer: Consultancy; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding. Fung:AstraZeneca: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; Genentech: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; AbbVie: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; Kite, a Gilead Company: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; Sanotif: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; Takeda: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support; Janssen Oncology: Honoraria, Other: speakers' bureau, travel support. Rosenblatt:Merck: Other: consultancy or advisory role ; Biograph55: Other: consultancy or advisory role, Research Funding; Synergy: Patents & Royalties; University of Miami: Other: Leadership. Rossi:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment; Gilead Sciences: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Goyal:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment. Plaks:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment, Other: travel support; Gilead Sciences: Other: stock or other ownership . Yang:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment. Lee:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment; Gilead Sciences: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Godfrey:IGM Biosciences: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Vezan:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment, Honoraria, Other: Travel support; Abbvie: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company; Merck: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Avanzi:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment, Other: travel support; Gilead Sciences: Other: stock or other ownership ; MSKCC: Patents & Royalties. Neelapu:N/A: Other; Calibr: Other; Poseida: Research Funding; Cellectis: Research Funding; Merck: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Kite, a Gilead Company: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Adicet Bio: Other; Legend Biotech: Other; Precision Biosciences: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Incyte: Other: personal fees; Cell Medica/Kuur: Other: personal fees; Allogene Therapeutics: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Pfizer: Other: personal fees; Celgene: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Novartis: Other: personal fees; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Unum Therapeutics: Other, Research Funding; Karus Therapeutics: Research Funding; Acerta: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Patents & Royalties.

Author notes

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Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.