New Investigative Therapy Could Drastically Minimize Relapse in Follicular Lymphoma

A recent study has uncovered that a CAR-T therapy called Kymriah could lead to improved results for follicular lymphoma patients. Specifically, it was found to be both effective and safe for individuals with relapsed/refractory forms of the condition who had received other therapies in the past.
This study was published in Nature Medicine and was led by Nathan Fowler from the University of Texas.
The results are particularly exciting because there are currently very limited options in terms of treatment for these patients. Relapse is quite common, and after relapse, remission time is often short. This research team was dedicated to finding another option.

The Study

This trial included 97 patients who had been treated with at least 2 types of therapy or had experienced a relapse after receiving an autologous stem cell transplant.

After 9.9 months, there was a complete response rate of 69.1% and an objective response rate of 86.2%. Of 31 participants who had originally experienced just a partial response at the 3 month mark, 15 experienced a complete response later on. These response rates alone demonstrate the treatment’s potential.

For patients who had reached complete response, 86.5% had a 9 month duration of response, and 85.5% experienced a 12 month progression free survival. Across all 97 patients in the trial, the 12 month progression free survival rate was 67%.

These findings demonstrate that CAR-T treatment could overcome the resistance of other therapies in this patient population. Specifically, they show the promise of Kymriah. A different CAR-T cell therapy was approved last year, but the side effects of the therapy are not ideal. This trial demonstrated that Kymriah is associated with improved side effects compared to this other treatment.

In this trial, 99% of participants experienced a side effect, and 78.4% of participants experienced a severe side effect.

  • 42.3%- neutropenia
  • 48.5%- cytokine release syndrome
  • 37.1%- neurological events
  • 4.1%- immune effector cell-associated neurologic toxicity syndrome

However, for most patients, the most common AEs were very mild and resolved quickly.

Researchers are hopeful that this investigative treatment could lead to long-term remission for patients. By treating patients with this therapy early on, fewer patients may experience relapse at all. This treatment ultimately could be a cure for some individuals.

Research is ongoing for this treatment, but scientists are excited about not only its efficacy on its own, but how it may be used as a combination treatment to improve patient lives.

You can read more about this therapy and its potential here.

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