Dr Hernandez-Ilizaliturri on the Implications of the FDA Approval of Liso-Cel for R/R Follicular Lymphoma

Francisco Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, MD, director, Lymphoma Research, professor, oncology, Department of Medicine, head, Lymphoma Translational Research Lab, associate professor, Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; clinical professor, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, discusses the clinical implications of the FDA’s approval of lisocabtagene maraleucel (liso-cel; Breyanzi) for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.

On May 15, 2024, the FDA granted accelerated approval to liso-cel for use in adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma who have previously received at least 2 lines of systemic therapy.

Hernandez-Ilizaliturri notes that one of the most interesting aspects about this particular CAR T-cell therapy is its safety profile. Compared with other CAR T-cell therapies, liso-cel is associated with a lower incidence and severity of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity, he explains. These characteristics are particularly advantageous as they potentially enhance the feasibility of its use in a broader patient population, including those with preexisting comorbidities.

This safety profile contributes to better patient tolerance and aligns with clinical goal of reducing treatment-related complications, which can be severe and life-threatening in the context of potent cellular therapies like CAR T-cell therapy, Hernandez-Ilizaliturri says. The reduction in severe adverse effects (AEs) such as CRS and neurotoxicity can significantly influence treatment decisions, offering a viable option for patients who might otherwise be considered at higher risk for such AEs.

The accelerated approval of liso-cel for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma highlights the agent’s impact across the treatment landscape for a variety of B-cell malignancies, Hernandez-Ilizaliturri explains. In relapsed or refractory settings, where treatment options may be more limited, the approval of liso-cel underscores the importance of the ongoing development and evaluation of therapies that could provide effective disease control with manageable safety profiles in later lines of treatment, he concludes.

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