Patients diagnosed with relapsed/refractory (R/R) diffuse large B cell and high grade B cell lymphomas (DLBCL/HGBL) may achieve prolonged survival following receipt of high dose chemotherapy/autologous stem cell transplantation (HDC/ASCT) or CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells (CART19). While early results from randomized clinical trials suggest that assignment to CART19 versus salvage immunochemotherapy as second-line therapy results in improved survival, analysis of a large series of patients who actually received HDC/ASCT or CART19 has yet to be performed, and may inform future research efforts to optimize risk-stratification of R/R DLBCL/HGBL patients who are candidates for either therapy.
To understand clinicopathologic factors which predict for freedom from treatment failure (FFTF) for R/R DLBCL/HGBL patients following receipt of HDC/ASCT or CART19, and compare patterns of TF for R/R DLBCL/HGBL patients receiving either HDC/ASCT or CART19.
Patients age ≤75 with R/R DLBCL/HGBL who received HDC/ASCT demonstrating partial or complete metabolic response to salvage immunochemotherapy and/or CART19 in the standard-of-care setting at the University of Pennsylvania from 2013-21 were included. Survival analyses were performed from the time of infusion of either HDC/ASCT or CART19 as well landmark time points post-infusion for patients who achieved FFTF.
For 100 HDC/ASCT patients with median length of follow-up of 62.7 months, the estimated rate of 36 month FFTF and overall survival were 59% and 81%, respectively. For 109 CART19 patients with median length of follow-up of 37.6 months, the estimated rate of 36 month FFTF and overall survival were 24% and 48%, respectively. HDC/ASCT patients achieved significantly higher rates of estimated 36 month FFTF if achieving actual FFTF at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. Additionally, the incidence of baseline characteristics that predicted for TF at 36 months for either HDC/ASCT or CART19 patients was either similar or significantly lower at for CART19 as compared to HDC/ASCT patients who achieved actual FFTF at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months.
Patients with R/R DLBCL/HGBL achieving response to salvage immunochemotherapy who receive HDC/ASCT experience a high rate of estimated FFTF regardless of harboring features predictive of resistance to salvage immunochemotherapy, which may be more durable than that of R/R DLBCL/HGBL patients receiving CART19. These findings support further investigation of disease characteristics, such as molecular features, which may predict response to salvage immunochemotherapy in patients fit for HDC/ASCT.

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.