Tabelecleucel for allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell or solid organ transplant recipients with Epstein–Barr virus-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease after failure of rituximab or rituximab and chemotherapy (ALLELE): a phase 3, multicentre, open-label trial

Kris Michael Mahadeo, Robert Baiocchi, Amer Beitinjaneh, Sridhar Chaganti, Sylvain Choquet, Daan Dierickx, Rajani Dinavahi, Xinyuan Duan, Laurence Gamelin, Armin Ghobadi, Norma Guzman-Becerra, Manher Joshi, Aditi Mehta, Willis H. Navarro, Sarah Nikiforow, Richard J. O'Reilly, Ran Reshef, Fiona Ruiz, Tassja Spindler, Susan Prockop

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Survival in Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease following haematopoietic stem-cell transplant (HSCT) or solid organ transplant (SOT) is poor after failure of initial therapy, indicating an urgent need for therapies for this ultra-rare disease. With recent EU marketing authorisation, tabelecleucel is the first off-the-shelf, allogeneic, EBV-specific T-cell immunotherapy to receive approval for treatment of relapsed or refractory EBV-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease. We aimed to determine the clinical benefit of tabelecleucel in patients with relapsed or refractory EBV-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease following HSCT or SOT. Methods: In this global, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 trial, eligible patients (of any age) had biopsy-proven EBV-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, disease that was relapsed or refractory to rituximab after HSCT and rituximab with or without chemotherapy after SOT, and partially HLA-matched and appropriately HLA-restricted tabelecleucel available. Patients received tabelecleucel administered intravenously at 2 × 106 cells per kg on days 1, 8, and 15 in 35-day cycles and are assessed for up to 5 years for survival post-treatment initiation. The primary endpoint was objective response rate. All patients who received at least one dose of tabelecleucel were included in safety and efficacy analyses. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03394365, and is ongoing. Findings: From June 27, 2018, to Nov 5, 2021, 63 patients were enrolled, of whom 43 (24 [56%] male and 19 [44%] female) were included, 14 had prior HSCT, 29 had SOT. Seven (50%, 95% CI 23–77) of 14 participants in the HSCT group and 15 (52%, 33–71) of 29 participants in the SOT group had an objective response, with a median follow-up of 14·1 months (IQR 5·7–23·9) and 6·0 months (1·8–18·4), respectively. The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse events were disease progression (in four [29%] of 14 in HSCT and eight [28%] of 29 in SOT) and decreased neutrophil count (in four [29%] of 14 in HSCT and four [14%] of 29 in SOT). Treatment-emergent serious adverse events were reported in 23 (53%) of 43 patients and fatal treatment-emergent adverse events in five (12%); no fatal treatment-emergent adverse event was treatment-related. There were no reports of tumour flare reaction, cytokine release syndrome, immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome, transmission of infectious diseases, marrow rejection, or infusion reactions. No events of graft-versus-host disease or SOT rejection were reported as related to tabelecleucel. Interpretation: Tabelecleucel provides clinical benefit in patients with relapsed or refractory EBV-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, for whom there are no other approved therapies, without evidence of safety concerns seen with other adoptive T-cell therapies. These data represent a potentially transformative and accessible treatment advance for patients with relapsed or refractory disease with few treatment options. Funding: Atara Biotherapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-387
Number of pages12
JournalThe Lancet Oncology
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

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