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Anti-CD30 CAR T cells as consolidation after autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with high-risk CD30 + lymphoma: a phase 1 study.

Lancet Haematology 2024 March 29
BACKGROUND: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting CD30 are safe and have promising activity when preceded by lymphodepleting chemotherapy. We aimed to determine the safety of anti-CD30 CAR T cells as consolidation after autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) in patients with CD30+ lymphoma at high risk of relapse.

METHODS: This phase 1 dose-escalation study was performed at two sites in the USA. Patients aged 3 years and older, with classical Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma with CD30+ disease documented by immunohistochemistry, and a Karnofsky performance score of more than 60% planned for autologous HSCT were eligible if they were considered high risk for relapse as defined by primary refractory disease or relapse within 12 months of initial therapy or extranodal involvement at the start of pre-transplantation salvage therapy. Patients received a single infusion of CAR T cells (2 × 107 CAR T cells per m2 , 1 × 108 CAR T cells per m2 , or 2 × 108 CAR T cells per m2 ) as consolidation after trilineage haematopoietic engraftment (defined as absolute neutrophil count ≥500 cells per μL for 3 days, platelet count ≥25 × 109 platelets per L without transfusion for 5 days, and haemoglobin ≥8 g/dL without transfusion for 5 days) following carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM) and HSCT. The primary endpoint was the determination of the maximum tolerated dose, which was based on the rate of dose-limiting toxicity in patients who received CAR T-cell infusion. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02663297) and enrolment is complete.

FINDINGS: Between June 7, 2016, and Nov 30, 2020, 21 patients were enrolled and 18 patients (11 with Hodgkin lymphoma, six with T-cell lymphoma, one with grey zone lymphoma) were infused with anti-CD30 CAR T cells at a median of 22 days (range 16-44) after autologous HSCT. There were no dose-limiting toxicities observed, so the highest dose tested, 2 × 108 CAR T cells per m2 , was determined to be the maximum tolerated dose. One patient had grade 1 cytokine release syndrome. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were lymphopenia (two [11%] of 18) and leukopenia (two [11%] of 18). There were no treatment-related deaths. Two patients developed secondary malignancies approximately 2 years and 2·5 years following treatment (one stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer and one testicular cancer), but these were judged unrelated to treatment. At a median follow-up of 48·2 months (IQR 27·5-60·7) post-infusion, the median progression-free survival for all treated patients (n=18) was 32·3 months (95% CI 4·6 months to not estimable) and the median progression-free survival for treated patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (n=11) has not been reached. The median overall survival for all treated patients has not been reached.

INTERPRETATION: Anti-CD30 CAR T-cell infusion as consolidation after BEAM and autologous HSCT is safe, with low rates of toxicity and encouraging preliminary activity in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma at high risk of relapse, highlighting the need for larger studies to confirm these findings.

FUNDING: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, University Cancer Research Fund at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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