Autologous transplant vs chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for relapsed DLBCL in partial remission

Blood. 2022 Mar 3;139(9):1330-1339. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021013289.


The relative efficacy of autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (auto-HCT) vs chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who achieve a partial remission (PR) after salvage chemotherapy is not known. Using the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research registry database, we identified adult patients with DLBCL who received either an auto-HCT (2013-2019) or CAR-T treatment with axicabtagene ciloleucel (2018-2019) while in a PR by computed tomography or positron emission tomography scan. We compared the clinical outcomes between the 2 cohorts using univariable and multivariable regression models after adjustment for relevant baseline and clinical factors. In the univariable analysis, the 2-year progression-free survival (52% vs 42%; P = .1) and the rate of 100-day nonrelapse mortality (4% vs 2%; P = .3) were not different between the 2 cohorts, but consolidation with auto-HCT was associated with a lower rate of relapse/progression (40% vs 53%; P = .05) and a superior overall survival (OS) (69% vs 47%; P = .004) at 2 years. In the multivariable regression analysis, treatment with auto-HCT was associated with a significantly lower risk of relapse/progression rate (hazard ratio = 1.49; P = .01) and a superior OS (hazard ratio = 1.63; P = .008). In patients with DLBCL in a PR after salvage therapy, treatment with auto-HCT was associated with a lower incidence of relapse and a superior OS compared with CAR-T. These data support the role of auto-HCT as the standard of care in transplant-eligible patients with relapsed DLBCL in PR after salvage therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autografts
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Rate