Ciltacabtagene autoleucel, a B-cell maturation antigen-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (CARTITUDE-1): a phase 1b/2 open-label study

Lancet. 2021 Jul 24;398(10297):314-324. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00933-8. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


Background: CARTITUDE-1 aimed to assess the safety and clinical activity of ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy with two B-cell maturation antigen-targeting single-domain antibodies, in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma with poor prognosis.

Methods: This single-arm, open-label, phase 1b/2 study done at 16 centres in the USA enrolled patients aged 18 years or older with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0 or 1, who received 3 or more previous lines of therapy or were double-refractory to a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory drug, and had received a proteasome inhibitor, immunomodulatory drug, and anti-CD38 antibody. A single cilta-cel infusion (target dose 0·75 × 106 CAR-positive viable T cells per kg) was administered 5-7 days after start of lymphodepletion. The primary endpoints were safety and confirmation of the recommended phase 2 dose (phase 1b), and overall response rate (phase 2) in all patients who received treatment. Key secondary endpoints were duration of response and progression-free survival. This trial is registered with, NCT03548207.

Findings: Between July 16, 2018, and Oct 7, 2019, 113 patients were enrolled. 97 patients (29 in phase 1b and 68 in phase 2) received a cilta-cel infusion at the recommended phase 2 dose of 0·75 × 106 CAR-positive viable T cells per kg. As of the Sept 1, 2020 clinical cutoff, median follow-up was 12·4 months (IQR 10·6-15·2). 97 patients with a median of six previous therapies received cilta-cel. Overall response rate was 97% (95% CI 91·2-99·4; 94 of 97 patients); 65 (67%) achieved stringent complete response; time to first response was 1 month (IQR 0·9-1·0). Responses deepened over time. Median duration of response was not reached (95% CI 15·9-not estimable), neither was progression-free survival (16·8-not estimable). The 12-month progression-free rate was 77% (95% CI 66·0-84·3) and overall survival rate was 89% (80·2-93·5). Haematological adverse events were common; grade 3-4 haematological adverse events were neutropenia (92 [95%] of 97 patients), anaemia (66 [68%]), leukopenia (59 [61%]), thrombocytopenia (58 [60%]), and lymphopenia (48 [50%]). Cytokine release syndrome occurred in 92 (95%) of 97 patients (4% were grade 3 or 4); with median time to onset of 7·0 days (IQR 5-8) and median duration of 4·0 days (IQR 3-6). Cytokine release syndrome resolved in all except one with grade 5 cytokine release syndrome and haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. CAR T-cell neurotoxicity occurred in 20 (21%) patients (9% were grade 3 or 4). 14 deaths occurred in the study; six due to treatment-related adverse events, five due to progressive disease, and three due to treatment-unrelated adverse events.

Interpretation: A single cilta-cel infusion at the target dose of 0·75 × 106 CAR-positive viable T cells per kg led to early, deep, and durable responses in heavily pretreated patients with multiple myeloma with a manageable safety profile. The data from this study formed the basis for recent regulatory submissions.

Funding: Janssen Research & Development and Legend Biotech.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • B-Cell Maturation Antigen / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen / administration & dosage*
  • United States


  • B-Cell Maturation Antigen
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen

Associated data