Tisagenlecleucel demonstrated high rates of durable responses in adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (r/r DLBCL) in the JULIET trial. Most patients (92%) received bridging therapies to control disease after study entry and before tisagenlecleucel infusion. Here, we examine the efficacy and safety of tisagenlecleucel in the subset of 7 patients who achieved complete response (CR) after bridging therapy and before tisagenlecleucel infusion. Tisagenlecleucel rapidly expanded in all 7 patients, and the transgene levels were measurable for up to 2 years after infusion. After infusion, all 7 patients were still in CR at the month 3 evaluation, and 5 of 7 patients remained progression-free >12 months. Adverse events were similar to the overall JULIET population. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) was reported in 4 of 7 patients (grade 2 = 2 and grade 3 = 2 using the Penn grading scale), and 1 patient experienced grade 1 neurotoxicity. No patient required tocilizumab or steroids for CRS management. These data provide preliminary evidence of tisagenlecleucel efficacy in patients with r/r DLBCL without detectable disease after bridging or salvage therapies and warrant further investigation of tisagenlecleucel as consolidative therapy in future trials. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02445248.
© 2019 by The American Society of Hematology.