Safety and efficacy of tisagenlecleucel in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphoma: the first real-world evidence in Japan

Int J Clin Oncol. 2023 Jun;28(6):816-826. doi: 10.1007/s10147-023-02334-w. Epub 2023 Apr 18.


Background: Tisagenlecleucel, an autologous CD19-directed T-cell immunotherapy, can induce a durable response in adult patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) B-cell lymphoma.

Methods: To elucidate the outcome of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in Japanese, we retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of 89 patients who received tisagenlecleucel for r/r diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 71) or transformed follicular lymphoma (n = 18).

Results: With a median follow-up of 6.6-months, 65 (73.0%) patients achieved a clinical response. The overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates at 12 months were 67.0% and 46.3%, respectively. Overall, 80 patients (89.9%) had cytokine release syndrome (CRS), and 6 patients (6.7%) had a grade ≥ 3 event. ICANS occurred in 5 patients (5.6%); only 1 patient had grade 4 ICANS. Representative infectious events of any grade were cytomegalovirus viremia, bacteremia and sepsis. The most common other adverse events were ALT elevation, AST elevation, diarrhea, edema, and creatinine elevation. No treatment-related mortality was observed. A Sub-analysis showed that a high metabolic tumor volume (MTV; ≥ 80 ml) and stable disease /progressive disease before tisagenlecleucel infusion were both significantly associated with a poor EFS and OS in a multivariate analysis (P < 0.05). Notably, the combination of these 2 factors efficiently stratified the prognosis of these patients (HR 6.87 [95% CI 2.4-19.65; P < 0.05] into a high-risk group).

Conclusion: We report the first real-world data on tisagenlecleucel for r/r B-cell lymphoma in Japan. Tisagenlecleucel is feasible and effective, even in late line treatment. In addition, our results support a new algorithm for predicting the outcomes of tisagenlecleucel.

Keywords: Algorithm; CAR-T; Lymphoma; Metabolic tumor volume; Tisagenlecleucel.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies


  • tisagenlecleucel