Axicabtagene Ciloleucel and Increasing Accessibility to CAR T-Cell Therapy With Frederick Locke, MD

Frederick Locke, MD.

While the current standard of care for relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma is high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell rescue, many patients do not respond to or cannot tolerate high-dose therapy. As a result, outcomes for second-line treatment remain poor.

At the recent American Society of Hematology (ASH) 63rd Annual Meeting & Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Frederick Locke of Moffitt Cancer Center presented the primary results of ZUMA-7, a phase 3 clinical trial investigating the efficacy of axicabtagene ciloleucel, an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Dr. Locke and his co-investigators found that axicabtagene ciloleucel produced a clinically meaningful, statistically significant improvement in event-free survival compared with the standard of care, along with a manageable safety profile as well. In this interview with Oncology Data Advisor, Dr. Locke discusses the importance of these results and shares advice for members of the cancer care community about how to optimize the use of CAR-T cell therapy for eligible patients with hematologic malignancies.

Oncology Data Advisor: Can you comment on the significance of the results of the ZUMA-7 trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel for patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma?

Frederick Locke, MD: ZUMA-7 is the first randomized, global, multicenter phase 3 clinical trial testing out CAR T-cell therapy against the current second-line standard of care for large B-cell lymphoma. The results we presented have demonstrated that CAR T-cell therapy as a second-line treatment can really provide better efficacy outcomes compared with the current standard of care.

Oncology Data Advisor: What advice could you give to members of the multidisciplinary health care team about making CAR T-cell therapy more accessible for their patients with hematologic malignancies?

Dr. Locke: What’s important for community oncologists and other members of the multidisciplinary team to understand is that in order for patients to receive CAR T-cell therapy, they need to be referred as early as possible. In the second-line setting, if a patient is not responding to R-CHOP (rituximab/cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) chemotherapy or if they are progressing, the oncologist should immediately be thinking to send that patient to a treatment center that administers axicabtagene ciloleucel. This is the only way to get that patient to CAR T-cell therapy as the very next treatment. Because CAR T-cell therapy works and because it has shown outcomes that are really remarkable, this is what we should be trying to do for our patients.

About Dr. Locke

Frederick Locke, MD, is Vice Chair of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy and Co-Leader of the Immuno-Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He specializes in the treatment of patients with lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma, with particular expertise in autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy. Dr. Locke is an active clinical researcher in the field of CAR T-cell therapy, and he currently serves as an investigator of several pivotal clinical trials of anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of lymphoma. He has authored numerous publications focusing on the development of novel therapeutic strategies for patients with lymphoid malignancies.

For More Information

Locke FL, Miklos DB, Jacobson C, et al (2021). Primary analysis of ZUMA-7: a phase 3 randomized trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) versus standard-of-care therapy in patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma [oral presentation]. 63rd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition. Abstract 2.

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of i3 Health. 

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