Comparison of 2-year outcomes with CAR T cells (ZUMA-1) vs salvage chemotherapy in refractory large B-cell lymphoma

Sattva S. Neelapu, Frederick L. Locke, Nancy L. Bartlett, Lazaros J. Lekakis, Patrick M. Reagan, David B. Miklos, Caron A. Jacobson, Ira Braunschweig, Olalekan O. Oluwole, Tanya Siddiqi, Yi Lin, Michael Crump, John Kuruvilla, Eric van Den Neste, Umar Farooq, Lynn Navale, Venita DePuy, Jenny J. Kim, Christian Gisselbrecht

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47 Scopus citations


The SCHOLAR-1 international retrospective study highlighted poor clinical outcomes and survival among patients with refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) treated with conventional chemotherapy. Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, demonstrated durable responses in patients with refractory LBCL in the pivotal phase 1/2 ZUMA-1 study (NCT02348216). Here, we compared SCHOLAR-1 with the 2-year outcomes of ZUMA-1. Prior to comparison of clinical outcomes, propensity scoring (based on a broad set of prognostic covariates) was used to create balance between ZUMA-1 and SCHOLAR-1 patients. In the pivotal phase 2 portion of ZUMA-1, 101 patients received axi-cel and were evaluable for response and survival. In SCHOLAR-1, 434 and 424 patients were evaluable for response and survival, respectively. ZUMA-1 patients were more heavily pretreated than were SCHOLAR-1 patients. The median follow-up was 27.1 months in ZUMA-1. The objective response rate (ORR) and complete response rate were 83% and 54% in ZUMA-1 vs 34% and 12% in SCHOLAR-1, respectively. The 2-year survival rate was 54% in ZUMA-1 and 20% in SCHOLAR-1, and a 73% reduction in the risk of death was observed in ZUMA-1 vs SCHOLAR-1. These results were consistent with those of an additional standardization analysis in which strata were limited to 2 prognostic factors (refractory categorization and presence/absence of stem cell transplant after refractoriness to chemotherapy) to conserve sample size. Despite the limitations of a nonrandomized analysis, these results indicate that axi-cel produces durable responses and a substantial survival benefit vs non-CAR T-cell salvage regimens for patients with refractory LBCL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4149-4155
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 26 2021


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