EHA-SWG 2017 | Rare Lymphomas: CAR T-cells in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

On March 12th, at the EHA-SWG Rare Lymphomas Scientific Meeting 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, Marie José Kersten chaired a scientific session on ‘Fighting Lymphoma with T-cells’. The first presentation of this session was by Catherine Bollard, from The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bethesda, USA, on the topic of ‘CD19 CAR T-cells for Lymphoma’. Below are the key highlights from this presentation:

  • Over 15 studies open using CAR CD19-transduced T-cells in the US
  • First generation CAR T-cells had low persistence in patients
  • Second generation CARs developed which include an additional domain, either:
    • CD28
    • 41BBL
    • OX40L
  • Second generation CAR T-cell therapy shown to have increased proliferation and persistence vs. first generation within the same B-cell lymphoma patients
  • Multiple companies are currently working on different second-generation CAR constructs e.g. Kite, Novartis, Juno, and Bluebird Bio
  • Persistence of CAR T-cells correlated with response
  • Pre-CAR T-cell lymphodepleting chemotherapy with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide improves CAR T-cell proliferation and persistence
  • Cytokine release syndrome remains an important adverse event to monitor and manage in patients undergoing CAR T-cell therapy

To summarize, Catherine Bollard presented data detailing the differences between first and second-generation CAR T-cell technology, outlined the perceived importance of CAR T-cell persistence, identified the main CAR T-cell constructs currently being used, and outlined potential issues in the applicability of this treatment. Studies are ongoing, and long-term follow-up data is eagerly being awaited.


  1. Bollard C. CAR T-cells. 2017 Mar 12. EHA-SWG Rare Lymphomas. Barcelona, Spain.

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