ZUMA-1 (NCT02348216) examined the safety and efficacy of axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), an autologous CD19-directed chimaeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, in refractory large B-cell lymphoma. To reduce treatment-related toxicity, several exploratory safety management cohorts were added to ZUMA-1. Specifically, cohort 6 investigated management of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic events (NEs) with prophylactic corticosteroids and earlier corticosteroid and tocilizumab intervention. CRS and NE incidence and severity were primary end-points. Following leukapheresis, patients could receive optional bridging therapy per investigator discretion. All patients received conditioning chemotherapy (days −5 through −3), 2 × 106 CAR-T cells/kg (day 0) and once-daily oral dexamethasone [10 mg, day 0 (before axi-cel) through day 2]. Forty patients received axi-cel. CRS occurred in 80% of patients (all grade ≤2). Any grade and grade 3 or higher NEs occurred in 58% and 13% of patients respectively. Sixty-eight per cent of patients did not experience CRS or NEs within 72 h of axi-cel. With a median follow-up of 8·9 months, objective and complete response rates were 95% and 80% respectively. Overall, prophylactic corticosteroids and earlier corticosteroid and/or tocilizumab intervention resulted in no grade 3 or higher CRS, a low rate of grade 3 or higher NEs and high response rates in this study population.
- chimaeric antigen receptor-T cell
- cytokine release syndrome
- large B-cell lymphoma