Blood cancer: revolution in the treatment of lymphoma

A new form of therapy is changing the way we treat blood cancers, also known as lymphomas.

A blood cancer test known as "diffuse large B-cell lymphoma" (LBDGC) revealed that 51% of patients receiving "chimeric antigen receptor (T-CART) T-cell therapy" also called "axi-cel", were still alive two years after the start of their treatment.

No adverse effects

The study, led by physicist Sattva Neelapu, was presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Hematology. "This two-year evaluation shows that axi-cel can induce long-term remissions for a significant proportion of patients," said Sattva Neelapu. Following a median follow-up of 27.1 months in 101 patients, the study found that 83% of patients achieved a reduction in treatment-related cancer activity. No adverse effects related to axi-cel were reported after 12 months of follow-up.
T-cell therapies with chimeric antigen receptors (T-CARD) are changing the way they treat several types of aggressive blood cancers (or lymphomas, NDLR), which are resistant to current treatments. They are designed by taking a patient's own T cells (cells of the immune system), modifying them so that they can kill the cancer cells and then reintroducing them into the patient's immune system.

Transformative therapies

"These are transformative therapies and we find that they are increasingly useful for giving patients the opportunity to live, while they have virtually no therapeutic options," said Joseph Alvarnas, an oncologist. and hematologist. "At the same time, we are identifying the limitations of these therapies - for example, CAR T-cells may stop functioning in some patients for a variety of reasons, prompting researchers to ask what therapeutic combinations could be used to prolong the benefits. treatment. "
The axi-cel therapy was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of LBDGC in October 2017 and by the European Commission in August 2018. Representing 25 to 30% of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, B-cell diffuse large cells (LBDGC) is the most common lymphoma. It is classically diagnosed after the age of 60, but can occur in children and young adults.