In the Phase 2 LOTIS-2 clinical trial, researchers evaluated the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of Loncastuximab tesirine for patients with aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). While there are treatment options available for DLBCL, an estimated 33% of patients either relapse while on treatment or do not respond to treatment. Thus, new therapies are needed to improve patient outcomes within this population. In a news release from late July 2021, researchers from the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center shared that, according to clinical trial results, Loncastuximab tesirine showed promise for treating DLBCL. Interested in learning more? The full study results can be found published in The Lancet Oncology.
So what exactly is Loncastuximab tesirine? According to an April 2021 article from Cancer Network, Loncastuximab tesirine is:
a CD19-directed ADC designed to bind irreversibly to DNA to create highly potent interstrand cross-links that block DNA strand separation, therefore disrupting essential DNA metabolic processes such as replication and ultimately resulting in cell death.
During the open-label clinical trial, patients (aged 18+) with refractory or relapsed DLBCL received Loncastuximab tesirine treatment. To join the trial, patients must have previously tried at least 2 additional treatments. Altogether, 145 patients enrolled. As many of these patients were considered difficult to treat, this clinical trial was extremely beneficial in adding that deeper understanding to the data. The intravenous therapy works by binding to CD19, which is often expressed on lymphoma B cells. Findings from the study include:
- Altogether, the overall response rate was 48%. This means that approximately half of all patients responded to treatments. Of those who responded, 50% achieved a complete response while the remaining 50% achieved a partial response.
- Loncastuximab tesirine was relatively safe and well-tolerated. Common side effects included thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and neutropenia (low white blood cell count). During treatment, 8 patients died. However, none of these deaths were attributed to Loncastuximab tesirine.
Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is considered the most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) subtype. Altogether, an estimated 18,000 people are diagnosed with DLBCL each year. This aggressive and fast-growing cancer impacts B lymphocytes. While DLBCL can affect those of all ages, it most often forms in the lymph nodes of those ages 60+. Additional risk factors include being male, having an autoimmune disease, being immunocompromised, or having a family history of DLBCL. Symptoms include:
- Painless lymph node inflammation
- Unintended weight loss
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Diarrhea and/or rectal bleeding (if spread to the abdomen)