CD19-targeted immunotherapies for treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas

Marcus P. Watkins, Nancy L. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Ubiquitous expression of CD19 on B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma identified it as a potential target for immune-based therapies. Areas covered: This article reviews the current literature on anti-CD19 therapies currently in clinical trials including monoclonal antibodies (mAb), antibody targeted cytotoxic drug conjugates (ADC), bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells. Expert opinion: Naked anti-CD19 mAbs have shown little clinical benefit in B cell lymphomas. Despite unusual toxicity profiles with many anti-CD19 ADCs slowing development, durable remissions in a substantial minority of patients with refractory aggressive lymphomas should encourage continued efforts in this area. Blinatumomab, an anti-CD19 bispecific T cell engager, has shown impressive responses in relapse/refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but is plagued by neurotoxicity issues and the need for continuous infusion. CD19 targeting CAR-T cell therapies are the most promising, with the potential for curing a third of refractory DLBCL patients. There is still much work to be done to address potentially life-threatening cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity, an extended production time precluding patients with rapidly progressive disease, and treatment expense. However, if the promise of CAR-T cell technology is confirmed, this will likely change the approach and prognosis for relapse/refractory aggressive lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-611
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • B cell lymphoma
  • CAR-T cells
  • CD19
  • antibody drug conjugates
  • blinatumomab


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