Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphomas are usually treated with the aim of controlling the lymphoma rather than curing it. Although they typically respond well to treatment, they usually come back (relapse) at some point. Most people have several different courses of treatment over the course of their illness so it is important to have new treatment options that offer long-term control.
CAR T-cell therapy is a personalised treatment that is already available to treat several fast-growing (high-grade) types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) and mantle cell lymphoma. The ZUMA-5 trial is testing a CAR T-cell therapy called axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) in people with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has come back or has not responded after at least two previous courses of treatment.
People who took part in the trial had follicular lymphoma, nodal marginal zone lymphoma or extranodal marginal zone lymphoma (MALT lymphoma). On average, they had had three previous courses of treatment.
Early results from 104 people who took part in the study showed that more than 9 in 10 people responded to treatment. Over 7 in 10 people maintained the response for at least 12 months.
Most people experienced some side effects, including low blood counts, cytokine release syndrome and nervous system problems. These side effects generally got better with appropriate treatment.
Serious side effects were less common in people in this trial of CAR T-cell therapy in low-grade lymphoma than in previous trials of CAR T-cell therapy in people with high-grade lymphoma.
The trial team concluded that axi-cel had considerable and durable clinical benefit and a manageable safety profile in people with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
To find out more about clinical trials for lymphoma, or to search for a trial that might be suitable for you, visit Lymphoma TrialsLink.
9 February 2021