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CAR T-Cell Therapy, Checkpoint Inhibitors Making Waves Across Hematologic Malignancies

Angelica Welch
Published: Friday, May 18, 2018

Anas Younes, MD

Anas Younes, MD
The future is bright for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies, most recently due to advancements in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors, said Anas Younes, MD.

, Younes discussed the current and future state of CAR T-cell therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors in the landscape of hematologic malignancies.

OncLive: What is the current state of CAR T-cell therapy in hematologic malignancies?

Younes: We know that there are CAR products approved for ALL and DLBCL, and the next disease to benefit from this treatment modality is going to be multiple myeloma. There were 2 phase I trials reported at the 2017 ASH Annual Meeting with remarkable response rates. I am talking about a 90% response rate with a high CR rate. Again, with all of these CAR T cells, the length of follow-up is still relatively short, but these high response rates are very exciting. 

What about immune checkpoint inhibitors?

Checkpoint inhibitors have shown a tremendous amount of activity in Hodgkin lymphoma. This is probably the most [immune] responsive cancer—hematologic or solid. For non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the response rate has been modest with checkpoint inhibitors, whether targeting PD-1 or PD-L1. There is a trend to combine it with other agents, such as small molecules, or moving it to the frontline setting in combination with chemotherapy. 
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