EHA Preview: Advances, Outcomes in CAR T-Cell Therapies and Management Challenges

Laura Joszt, MA

With 5 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies approved by the FDA, and 299 agents in the pipeline, it’s no surprise that the virtual meeting of the European Hematology Association (EHA) will have a heavy presence of CAR T research being presented in sessions and posters.

With 5 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies approved by the FDA, and 299 agents in the pipeline,1 it’s no surprise that the virtual meeting of the European Hematology Association will have a heavy presence of CAR T research being presented in sessions and posters.

The Advance of CAR T-Cell Therapies

The first 4 therapies were approved to treat B-cell leukemia and lymphomas:

  • Tisagenlecleucel: approved in children and young adults with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Axicabtagene ciloleucel: approved to treat adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Lisocabtagene maraleucel: approved to treat adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphomas

Then, brexucabtagene autoleucel was approved to treat patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and idecabtagene vicleucel was approved to treat multiple myeloma (MM).

There is an entire session highlighting treatment of CAR T-cell therapies in B-cell malignancies, as well as a session looking at treatment in follicular lymphoma and non-Hodkin lymphoma, but another will highlight new advances in MM and how to integrate CAR T-cell therapy into the treatment of MM.

A different session will look at the unmet needs in MCL and emerging treatment approaches, including CAR T-cell therapy. And one session will feature a discussion on developing CAR T-cell therapies that have a lower toxic potential.

Finally, the plenary on June 12 will include a talk on CAR natural killer cells and what opportunity they present as a competition to CAR T-cell therapy.

Management and Outcomes of CAR T-Cell Therapies

One session will focus on redefining survival. One speaker will discuss optimizing long-term survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and another on redefining survival in MCL.

A different session will spend time on helping patients succeed on these therapies. Attendees will be able to ask questions of speakers from the United Kingdom and Spain about use of CAR T-cell therapies in clinical practice.

Another session will feature a discuss on challenges with identifying patients early who may be eligible for CAR T-cell therapy.

There will be a few different posters that will present findings on real-world treatment with CAR T-cell therapy, including responses and monitoring outcomes.

Lastly, a session on June 11 will discuss how to manage cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a common adverse event of CAR T-cell therapies. The session will specifically discuss managing and mitigating CRS in patients with MM who are treated with T-cell engaging therapies.

Reference

1. Upadhaya S, Xin Yu J, Shah M, Correa D, Partridge T, Campbell J. The clinical pipeline for cancer cell therapies. Nat Rev Drug Discov. Published online June 4, 2021. doi:10.1038/d41573-021-00100-z