CAR T-cell therapy is effective for CD19-dim B-lymphoblastic leukemia but is impacted by prior blinatumomab therapy.

07:00 EST 26th November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "CAR T-cell therapy is effective for CD19-dim B-lymphoblastic leukemia but is impacted by prior blinatumomab therapy."

Tisagenlecleucel, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product targeting CD19 is approved for relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). However, the impact of pretreatment variables, such as CD19 expression level, on leukemic blasts, the presence of CD19- subpopulations, and especially prior CD19-targeted therapy, on the response to CAR T-cell therapy has not been determined. We analyzed 166 patients treated with CAR T-cell therapy at our institution. Eleven patients did not achieve a minimal residual disease (MRD)- deep remission, whereas 67 patients had a recurrence after achieving a MRD- deep remission: 28 patients with CD19+ leukemia and 39 patients with CD19- leukemia. Return of CD19+ leukemia was associated with loss of CAR T-cell function, whereas CD19- leukemia was associated with continued CAR T-cell function. There were no significant differences in efficacy of CAR T cells in CD19-dim B-ALL, compared with CD19-normal or -bright B-ALL. Consistent with this, CAR T cells recognized and lysed cells with very low levels of CD19 expression in vitro. The presence of dim CD19 or rare CD19- events by flow cytometry did not predict nonresponse or recurrence after CAR T-cell therapy. However, prior therapy with the CD19-directed, bispecific T-cell engager blinatumomab was associated with a significantly higher rate of failure to achieve MRD- remission or subsequent loss of remission with antigen escape. Finally, immunophenotypic heterogeneity and lineage plasticity were independent of underlying clonotype and cytogenetic abnormalities.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Blood advances
ISSN: 2473-9537
Pages: 3539-3549


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