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738 CAR-T Therapy for Lymphoma with Prophylactic Tocilizumab: Decreased Rates of Severe Cytokine Release Syndrome without Excessive Neurologic Toxicity

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 704. Immunotherapies: Therapeutic T cell Manipulation
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Biological, CRS, Diseases, neurotoxicity, Mantle Cell Lymphoma, CAR-Ts, Therapies, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Adverse Events, B-Cell Lymphoma, DLBCL, Lymphoid Malignancies, Clinically relevant
Monday, December 7, 2020: 2:00 PM

Paolo F Caimi, MD1, Ashish Sharma2*, Patricio Rojas, MD3*, Seema Patel, PharmD4*, Jane Reese1,2*, Folashade Otegbeye, MBBChir, MPH1, Andrew Worden5*, Michael Kadan5*, Michael Maschan, MD, PhD6, Rimas J Orentas, PhD7, Boro Dropulic, PhD, MBA5*, Rafick Sekaly8* and Marcos de Lima, MD1

1Adult Hematologic Malignancies & Stem Cell Transplant Section, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Cleveland, OH
2Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
3Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, CHL
4Adult Hematologic Malignancies & Stem Cell Transplant Program, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Cleveland, OH
5Lentigen Technology Inc., A Miltenyi Biotec Company, Gaithersburg, MD
6Dmitry Rogachev National Medical Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russian Federation
7Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
8Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

INTRODUCTION: Anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells have demonstrated activity against relapsed/refractory lymphomas. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and CAR-T related encephalopathy syndrome (CRES/ICANS) are well-known complications of CAR-T cell therapy. Tocilizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor, is approved for treatment of CRS. Our institutional standard was modified to administer prophylactic tocilizumab before infusion CAR-T cell products. We present the outcomes of subjects treated with locally manufactured antiCD19 CAR-T cells (TNFRSF19 transmembrane domain, CD3Zeta/4-1BB costimulatory signaling) with and without prophylactic tocilizumab.

METHODS: Relapsed / refractory (r/r) lymphoma patients (pts) treated with anti-CD19 CAR-T cells at our institution were included. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as laboratory results were obtained from our Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Therapy Database. Prior to institution of prophylactic tocilizumab, pts received this agent only if they presented evidence of CRS grade 2 or higher. In May 2019, our institutional practice changed to provide tocilizumab 8mg/kg, 1 hour prior to infusion of CAR-T cell product. CRS was measured according to the ASTCT Consensus Grading, whereas CRES was measured using the CARTOX-10 criteria. Comparisons between groups were done with the Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables.

RESULTS: Twenty-three relapsed / refractory lymphoma pts were treated with antiCD19 CAR-T cells; 15 pts received prophylactic tocilizumab. Median follow up was 312 days (range 64 – 679) days. Baseline characteristics are listed in table 1. Both groups were similar: There were no statistically differences in the rate of bulky, refractory disease, prior ASCT or number or prior lines of therapy. Baseline lymphocyte counts, C – reactive protein (CRP) and were also comparable between groups (Table 2). We did not observe immune adverse reactions to tocilizumab infusion. There were no differences in the incidence of cytopenias or infectious complications between groups. CRS of any grade was observed in 6/8 (75%) of pts without prophylactic tocilizumab vs. 6/15 (40%) in pts treated with prophylactic tocilizumab (p = 0.23), whereas CRS grade >1 was observed in 5 pts (62.5%) without prophylactic tocilizumab and in 3 pts (20%) treated with prophylactic tocilizumab (p = 0.02). There was no significant difference in the incidence of all grade CRES (no prophylaxis, 3/8 [38%] pts; prophylaxis 5/15 [30%] pts, p = 0.2969). There was a statistically significant difference in the peak CRP and peak ferritin without difference in the peak lymphocyte count after CAR-T infusion (Table 2, Figure 1). Patients given prophylactic tocilizumab had higher IL-6 plasma concentrations on day 2 after infusion (Figure 2).

Complete response was observed in 4/8 (50%) pts without prophylactic tocilizumab vs. 12/15 (80%) pts with prophylactic tocilizumab (p = 0.18). All pts had detectable Anti-CD19 CAR-T cells on day 30, both groups had peak CAR-T expansion on day 14, with no statistically significant differences in expansion rates between groups. All evaluable subjects have had CAR-T persistence on days 60, 90, 180, and 365.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of prophylactic tocilizumab prior to infusion of antiCD19 CAR-T cells is associated with reduced incidence of severe CRS and decreased levels of clinical laboratory markers of inflammation, despite increases in plasma concentration of IL-6. This decreased rate of grade ≥2 CRS is not associated with impaired disease control and did not result in increased rates of neurologic toxicity. Prophylactic tocilizumab does not appear to affect CAR-T cell expansion or persistence.

Disclosures: Caimi: Bayer: Other: Advisory Board; Amgen: Other: Advisory Board; Celgene: Speakers Bureau; ADC therapeutics: Other: Advisory Board, Research Funding; Kite pharmaceuticals: Other: Advisory Board; Verastem: Other: Advisory Board. Worden: Lentigen, a Miltenyi biotec company: Current Employment. Kadan: Lentigen, a Miltenyi biotec company: Current Employment. Orentas: Lentigen Technology, a Miltenyi Biotec Company: Research Funding. Dropulic: Lentigen, a Miltenyi Biotec Company: Current Employment, Patents & Royalties: CAR-T immunotherapy. de Lima: Celgene: Research Funding; Pfizer: Other: Personal fees, advisory board, Research Funding; Kadmon: Other: Personal Fees, Advisory board; Incyte: Other: Personal Fees, advisory board; BMS: Other: Personal Fees, advisory board.

OffLabel Disclosure: Use of tocilizumab as prophylaxis for CRS is not approved, whereas use for treatment is approved and on label.

*signifies non-member of ASH