Background: Pts with high-risk LBCL have poor outcomes with R-CHOP chemoimmunotherapy (Sathyanarayanan, et al. ASH 2016. #106), and ≈50% of pts will not achieve long-term disease remission (Coiffier, et al. ASH Ed Program. 2016), highlighting unmet need for new therapies. Axi-cel, an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, was approved for treatment of adults with R/R LBCL after ≥ 2 lines of systemic therapies based on the pivotal study, ZUMA-1 (Neelapu SS, et al. NEJM. 2017). ZUMA-12 is a Phase 2, multicenter, open-label, single-arm study of axi-cel as part of first-line therapy in pts with high-risk LBCL. Here, we present interim efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics (PK) results from ZUMA-12.

Methods: Eligible adults (≥ 18 y) met 2 criteria for high-risk LBCL: i) double- or triple-hit lymphoma by fluorescent in situ hybridization per investigator or LBCL with IPI score ≥ 3; and ii) positive interim PET per Lugano Classification (Cheson, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2014; Deauville score [DS] 4 or 5) after 2 cycles of an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody and anthracycline containing regimen, which served as a dynamic risk assessment. Pts with PMBCL were not eligible. Pts underwent leukapheresis (≥ 2 wks after prior systemic therapy) and optional non-chemotherapy bridging at investigator discretion, followed by conditioning chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2/d and fludarabine 30 mg/m2/d for 3 d) and a single axi-cel infusion (target dose, 2 × 106 CAR T cells/kg). The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed complete response (CR) rate per Lugano. Key secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), frequency of adverse events (AEs), and levels of CAR T cells and cytokines in blood and serum.

Results: As of July 15, 2020, 31 pts have been enrolled and treated, and as of January 24, 2020, in a planned interim analysis, 15 pts were treated with axi-cel with ≥ 3 mos of follow-up. Median age was 60 y (range, 39 - 86), 67% of pts were male, 73% had ECOG of 1, 40%/60% had DS4/5; 60% had double- or triple-hit status per investigator, and 67% had IPI score ≥ 3. Baseline characteristics were largely comparable to ZUMA-1 Cohort 1 except for lower median tumor burden in ZUMA-12 (ZUMA-1: 3897 mm2 vs ZUMA-12: 1610 mm2).

Of 12 response-evaluable pts (pts with centrally confirmed high-risk LBCL who received axi-cel), the investigator-assessed ORR was 92% (95% CI, 62% - 100%) with a CR rate of 75% (95% CI, 43% - 95%); 75% of pts had ongoing responses at data cutoff. Of 15 pts treated (safety analysis set), the investigator-assessed ORR was 93% (95% CI, 68% - 100%) with a CR rate of 80% (95% CI, 52% - 96%); 86% of pts had ongoing responses at data cutoff.

Of 15 safety-evaluable pts, 80% experienced Grade ≥ 3 AEs. The most common Grade ≥ 3 AEs (≥ 25% of pts) were white blood cell count decreased (40%), anemia (27%), and encephalopathy (27%). Grade ≥ 3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic events (NEs) occurred in 20% and 27% of pts, respectively. All CRS and 10/11 NEs of any grade resolved (causally unrelated Grade 1 tremor was ongoing in 1 pt at data cutoff). Median time to onset of CRS was 4 d (range, 1 - 8), with median duration of 5 d (range, 2 - 12). Median time to onset of NEs was 9 d (range, 2 - 44), with median duration of 10 d (range, 1 - 40). Grade ≥ 3 infection was reported in 27% and Grade ≥ 3 neutrophil count decreased was reported in 20%. No Grade 5 AEs occurred.

Despite similar assessment schedule and methodology, median peak CAR T cell levels were greater in ZUMA-12 vs ZUMA-1 Cohort 1 (131 cells/µL [range, 10 - 555] vs 32 cells/µL [range, 1 - 1514]). Median CAR T cell expansion (AUC0-28) was also greater in ZUMA-12 (1124 cells/µL × d [range, 147 - 4261]; ZUMA-1: 357 cells/µL × d [range, 5 - 11,507]). Median time to peak levels of CAR T cells in blood was 7 d after infusion. PK were similar in pts with double- or triple-hit lymphoma and IPI score ≥ 3.

Updated safety, efficacy, and PK results will be reported, along with product characteristics and levels of key cytokines.

Conclusion: ZUMA-12 is the first study evaluating CAR T cell therapy as first-line therapy in high-risk LBCL, which notably was defined by both histology and/or IPI and dynamic risk assessment with PET scan. Axi-cel demonstrated significant clinical benefit, with high ORR and CR rates and a manageable safety profile in pts for whom there is an unmet medical need. The study also provides new insights into the pharmacology of CAR T cell therapy for pts exposed to fewer prior therapies.

Disclosures

Neelapu:Pfizer: Other: personal fees; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Merck: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Kite, a Gilead Company: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; N/A: Other; Adicet Bio: Other; Poseida: Research Funding; Unum Therapeutics: Other, Research Funding; Celgene: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Novartis: Other: personal fees; Allogene Therapeutics: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Patents & Royalties; Precision Biosciences: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Cell Medica/Kuur: Other: personal fees; Incyte: Other: personal fees; Acerta: Research Funding; Karus Therapeutics: Research Funding; Cellectis: Research Funding; Legend Biotech: Other; Calibr: Other. Dickinson:Roche: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Merck Sharp & Dohme: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Oluwole:Spectrum Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Bayer: Consultancy; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy. Herrera:Genentech, Inc./F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Merck: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Other: Travel, Accomodations, Expenses, Research Funding; Immune Design: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Research Funding; Gilead Sciences: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Karyopharm: Consultancy. Thieblemont:Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Bayer: Honoraria; AbbVie: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Cellectis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company), Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: travel support; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Hospira: Research Funding; Roche: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company), Research Funding. Ujjani:AstraZeneca: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Abbvie: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Verastem Oncology: Consultancy, Honoraria; Gilead/Kite: Consultancy, Research Funding; Atara: Consultancy, Honoraria; Genentech: Consultancy, Honoraria; MorphoSys: Consultancy. Lin:Sorrento: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Vineti: Consultancy; Gamida Cells: Consultancy; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Legend BioTech: Consultancy; Juno: Consultancy; Bluebird Bio: Consultancy, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy, Research Funding. Riedell:Celgene/Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Karyopharm Therapeutics: Consultancy; Bayer: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Kite/Gilead: Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; MorphoSys: Research Funding. Kekre:Gilead: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria. de Vos:Bayer: Consultancy; Verastem: Consultancy. Yang:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment. Milletti:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment; Gilead Sciences: Other: stock or other ownership . Goyal:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment. Kawashima:Kite, a Gilead Company: Current Employment; Gilead Sciences: Other: stock or other ownership . Chavez:Merck: Research Funding; Morphosys: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; AstraZeneca: Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy; Kite, a Gilead Company: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Genentech: Speakers Bureau; Epizyme: Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Consultancy; Bayer: Consultancy; BeiGene: Speakers Bureau; Karyopharm: Consultancy; AbbVie: Consultancy; Verastem: Consultancy; Pfizer: Consultancy.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

This icon denotes a clinically relevant abstract