Another promising approach for hard-to-treat blood cancers

blood
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

For patients with some hard-to-treat blood cancers, a simple "off-the-shelf" immunotherapy is achieving promising results.

A clinical trial of the developmental drug Glofitamab has shown it can produce a durable "complete response"—meaning the cancer became undetectable—in with relapsed or treatment resistant B-cell lymphomas.

One option for these patients is CAR T-cell therapy—also an immunotherapy but one which involves collecting the patient's T-cells and reprogramming these cells in a laboratory to form a cancer-fighting infusion.

Peter Mac's Group Leader for Aggressive Lymphoma, Dr. Michael Dickinson, said Glofitamab had shown early impressive results in a similar group of patients.

"CAR T-cell therapy is a game-changer for how we treat blood cancer patients who have exhausted conventional treatment options," said Dr. Dickinson.

"The complexity of CAR T-cell therapy has also highlighted the need for more off-the-shelf options and, with Glofitamab, we are now starting to see these emerge.

"These trial results are impressive and support ongoing assessment of Glofitamab in larger scale , both as a single agent and in combination with other drugs."

The 171 participants in the Phase I (dose finding) clinical trial had B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma which had relapsed or stopped responding to treatment. More than half (53.8%) showed an anti-cancer response to the drug, and more than a third (36.8%) had a complete response.

The response rate, and complete response rate, increased to 65.7% and 57.1% respectively in a group who received a dose to be tested in a future Phase II trial. Among patients with a complete response, for most (84.1%) this was enduring and the longest tracked patient was cancer free for more than two years.

The drug's most common adverse event was cytokine release syndrome—which is also a potential side-effect of CAR T-cell therapy requiring close management. A paper describing these trial results in full is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


Explore further

CAR T-cell therapy found highly effective in patients with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma

More information: Martin Hutchings et al. Glofitamab, a Novel, Bivalent CD20-Targeting T-Cell–Engaging Bispecific Antibody, Induces Durable Complete Remissions in Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Lymphoma: A Phase I Trial, Journal of Clinical Oncology (2021). DOI: 10.1200/JCO.20.03175
Journal information: Journal of Clinical Oncology

Provided by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Citation: Another promising approach for hard-to-treat blood cancers (2021, April 7) retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-approach-hard-to-treat-blood-cancers.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
7 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments