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4638 A Compilation of Experiences in Utilizing CAR-T Cell Therapy for Richter’s TransformationClinically Relevant Abstract

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 642. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Clinical and Epidemiological: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, clinical trials, Clinical Research
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Shaomei Feng1*, Teng Xu2*, Haidi Liu3*, Peihao Zheng4*, Lixia Ma4*, Hui SHI5*, Tong Wu, MD6, Fan Yang5*, Kai HU7* and Xiaoyan Ke8*

1Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma Research Center, Beijing Gobroad Boren Hospital, beijing, China
2Department of Data Management, Beijing Gaobo Boren Hospital, Beijing, China
3Beijing Boren Hospital, Beijing, CHN
4Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma Research Center, Beijing Gobroad Boren Hospital, Beijing, China
5Beijing Gobroad Boren Hospital, beijing, China
6Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Beijing Gobroad Boren Hospital, Beijing, China
7Department of Adult Lymphoma, Beijing Boren Hospital, Beijing, China
8Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma Research Center, Beijing Gobroad Boren Hospital, Beijing, China

Objective: Even with Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors (BTKis) and BCL2 inhibitors, the prognosis for Richter’s Transformation (RT) remains dismal, with a median overall survival (OS) of only 9-12 months from initial diagnosis. Although there are reports on CAR-T therapy for RT, the sample size is small and the conclusions vary greatly.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective investigation of the efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy in treating RT at our center. Each participant provided their informed consent to partake in the "Phase II Clinical Trial of Sequential CAR-T Cell Therapy Targeting Different B-Cell Epitopes for Recurrent, Refractory Aggressive B-Cell Lymphoma"(Protocol number: BR-XG-CART-II, ChiCTR2100055062, Ethical Approval Number 20191225-PJ-003). Before lymphocyte collection, chemotherapy regimen without fludarabine/ Bendamustine is first used to reduce peripheral blood tumor load if peripheral blood tumor cells are higher than 10%. Patients with extramedullary tumor loads of 5cm or larger were treated with tumor reduction chemotherapy between lymphocyte collection and CART cell transfusion. The pretreatment scheme based on Bendamustine or FC scheme was adopted before CAR-T cells were infused. The efficacy and safety of CART cells were observed.

Results: Between Feb 1, 2020 and Feb 28, 2023, our center administered CAR-T cell therapy to 16 patients diagnosed with RT, all of whom developed into diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The patient population had a median age of 59 years (range: 42-69 years), consisting of 62.5% (10/16) males and 37.5% (6/16) females. The ECOG scores varied between 0 and 3. The median number of prior treatment lines was 5 (2-7). 93.8% failed previous BTKis treatment and 75% failed BCL2 inhibitor treatment; 93.8% had undergone chemotherapy (median 6 courses). 1 patient had previously failed universal CAR-T cell therapy, and another relapsed after autologous transplantation. 90% had at least one TP53 abnormality detected by either FISH or second-generation gene sequencing. Extramedullary masses were found in 87.5% (14/16) of patients, with a median maximum diameter of 42.5mm (18-144mm). Masses larger than 5cm were found in 25% (4/16) of cases, marrow involvement was noted in 62.5% (10/16), and cerebrospinal fluid was affected in 18.75% (3/16). None of the patients had central masses observed in their MRIs. During lymphocyte collection, 58.3% of patients showed positivity for peripheral blood tumor cells, with a maximum tumor cell proportion of 5.69%. The median infused CAR-T cell dose was 1.37×106/kg. 12 of them were injected with mouse CD19CAR-T, 2 with human CD20CART, and 2 with human CD19CART. CRS occurred in 81.3%of patients, of which, 68.8%were grade 1-2 and 12.5%were grade 3. Central CRS occurred in 6.3% (1/16) of patients. The complete response (CR) rate at the 3-month mark stood at 56.3% (9/16), with an overall response rate (ORR) of 68.8% (11/16). As of July 6, 2023, the median follow-up time was 10.6 months (4.4-33.6m), the 1-year OS was 73.4%, and the 1-year PFS was 68.8%. Median OS and PFS were not reached. One of the five patients who did not respond later underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and is still alive. The other four, despite attempts at salvage treatment including second CAR-T cell therapy, all died, with a median OS of only 5.6 months (4.4-8.9m). None of the four patients with extramedullary masses larger than 5cm achieved ORR despite tumor-reducing chemotherapy prior to CAR-T infusion. Only 1 of 3 patients with central involvement achieved CR and experienced grade 3 CRS along the way, while the other 2 did not respond to CAR-T therapy. Among all patients, only one experienced central CRS, and his cerebrospinal fluid showed no signs of tumor cells prior to the administration of CAR-T treatment. A patient who was in CR succumbed to an acute coronary event 19 months following infusion, despite remaining in CR.

Conclusion: Even in the presence of TP53 gene abnormalities, resistance to BTK/BCL2 inhibitors, and unsuccessful previous chemotherapy regiments, A single CAR T cell therapy can result in CR in more than half of RT patients. Nonetheless, the prognosis remains bleak for patients presenting with large tumor masses and central nervous system involvement, despite having received chemotherapy aimed at reducing tumor size. The outlook is particularly dismal for those patients who fail to respond to CAR-T cell therapy.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH