Commercial anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy for patients with relapsed/refractory aggressive B cell lymphoma in a European center

Am J Hematol. 2020 Nov;95(11):1324-1333. doi: 10.1002/ajh.25951. Epub 2020 Aug 25.


Two autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cells (axicabtagene ciloleucel [axi-cel] and tisagenlecleucel [tisa-cel]) are commercially approved in Europe for relapsed/refractory (R/R) diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We performed a retrospective study to evaluate patterns of use, efficacy and safety for axi-cel and tisa-cel. Data from 70 patients who underwent apheresis for commercial CAR T cells between January 2018 and November 2019 in our institution were retrospectively collected. Sixty-one patients were infused. The median age at infusion was 59 years old (range 27-75 years). The median number of prior therapies was 3 (range, 2-6). The overall response rates (ORRs) at 1 month and 3 months were 63% and 45%, respectively, with 48% and 39% achieving a complete response (CR), respectively. After a median follow-up after infusion of 5.7 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.0 months (95% CI, 2.8-8.8 months), and the median overall survival (OS) was 11.8 months (95% CI, 6.0-12.6 months). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with poor PFS were the number of previous lines of treatment before CAR T cells (≥4) (P = .010) and a C reactive protein (CRP) value >30 mg/L at the time of lymphodepletion (P < .001). Likewise, the only factor associated with a shorter OS was CRP >30 mg/L (P = .009). Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) of any grade occurred in 85% of patients, including 8% of patients with CRS of grade 3 or higher. Immune cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) of any grade occurred in 28% of patients, including 10% of patients with ICANS of grade 3 or higher. Regarding efficacy and safety, no significant difference was found between axi-cel and tisa-cel. This analysis describes one of the largest real-life cohorts of patients treated with axi-cel and tisa-cel for R/R aggressive B cell lymphoma in Europe.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD19 / blood*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / blood
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Antigens, CD19
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CD19 molecule, human