Identifying effect modifiers of CAR-T cell therapeutic efficacy: a systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis protocol

Syst Rev. 2023 Jan 19;12(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s13643-022-02158-1.

Abstract

Background: Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR-T) represents a promising and exciting new therapy for hematologic malignancies, where prognosis for relapsed/refractory patients remains poor. Encouraging results from clinical trials have often been tempered by heterogeneity in response to treatment among patients, as well as safety concerns including cytokine release syndrome. The identification of specific patient or treatment-specific factors underlying this heterogeneity may provide the key to the long-term sustainability of this complex and expensive therapy. An individual patient data meta-analysis (IPMDA) may provide potential explanations for the high degree of heterogeneity. Therefore, our objective is to perform a systematic review and IPDMA of CAR-T cell therapy in patients with hematologic malignancies to explore potential effect modifiers of CAR-T cell therapy.

Methods and analysis: We will search MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials. Studies will be screened in duplicate at the abstract level, then at the full-text level by two independent reviewers. We will include any prospective clinical trial of CAR-T cell therapy in patients with hematologic malignancies. Our primary outcome is complete response, while secondary outcomes of interest include overall response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety. IPD will be collected from each included trial and, in the case of missing data, corresponding authors/study sponsors will be contacted. Standard aggregate meta-analyses will be performed, followed by the IPD meta-analysis using a one-stage approach. A modified Institute of Health Economics tool will be used to evaluate the risk of bias of included studies.

Ethics and dissemination: Identifying characteristics that may act as modifiers of CAR-T cell efficacy is of paramount importance and can help shape future clinical trials in the field. Results from this study will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, presented at relevant conferences and shared with relevant stakeholders.

Keywords: CAR-T cell therapy; Individual patient data meta-analysis; Oncology; Protocol; Systematic review.

MeSH terms

  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / therapeutic use
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • T-Lymphocytes

Substances

  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen