Dr. Maziarz Discusses Promise of Tisagenlecleucel in DLBCL

Richard T. Maziarz, MD
Published: Friday, Feb 01, 2019



Richard T. Maziarz, MD, professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, Knight Cancer Institute, discusses the promise of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) in the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

The JULIET trial, which was presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting, assessed the safety and efficacy of the CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell product tisagenlecleucel in patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL. In these patients, Maziarz says, their own immune cells have allowed the cancer to evade them and grow. With this therapy, investigators take the T cells out of the patients’ bodies and genetically alter them, and in doing so, these cells have a new receptor.

The beauty of this therapy, Maziarz says, is that immune cells live in the body for life. The mechanism of tisagenlecleucel alters the original receptor of the T cell—which may have been irrelevant to fighting the cancer—and directs it toward the disease.

In the study, overall response rate was 54% at a median follow-up of 19 months. There was a complete remission rate of 40%, with the rest of the responders achieving a partial response.
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Richard T. Maziarz, MD, professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, Knight Cancer Institute, discusses the promise of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) in the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

The JULIET trial, which was presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting, assessed the safety and efficacy of the CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell product tisagenlecleucel in patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL. In these patients, Maziarz says, their own immune cells have allowed the cancer to evade them and grow. With this therapy, investigators take the T cells out of the patients’ bodies and genetically alter them, and in doing so, these cells have a new receptor.

The beauty of this therapy, Maziarz says, is that immune cells live in the body for life. The mechanism of tisagenlecleucel alters the original receptor of the T cell—which may have been irrelevant to fighting the cancer—and directs it toward the disease.

In the study, overall response rate was 54% at a median follow-up of 19 months. There was a complete remission rate of 40%, with the rest of the responders achieving a partial response.

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