Send to

Choose Destination
Oncologist. 2019 Oct 4. pii: theoncologist.2019-0395. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0395. [Epub ahead of print]

Axicabtagene Ciloleucel, an Anti-CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy for Relapsed or Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Practical Implications for the Community Oncologist.

Author information

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


Axicabtagene ciloleucel is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after ≥2 prior systemic therapies. Although axicabtagene ciloleucel is administered only at authorized treatment centers, community oncologists play a critical role in the CAR T-cell treatment journey, recognizing potentially eligible patients for referral and then, after treatment, closely collaborating with treatment centers to monitor and manage patients long term. ZUMA-1, the pivotal, multicenter, phase I/II study of 108 patients treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel, resulted in an objective response rate of 83%, including 58% complete responses. With a 27.1-month median follow-up, 39% of patients had ongoing responses. CAR T-cell therapy is associated with the potentially life-threatening adverse events (AEs) of cytokine release syndrome and neurologic events, which generally occur early after treatment. In ZUMA-1, cytokine release syndrome and neurologic events were generally reversible and grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome and neurologic events occurred in 11% and 32% of patients, respectively. Frequent prolonged AEs included hypogammaglobulinemia, B-cell aplasia, and cytopenias requiring supportive care until recovery of hematopoietic function. Rate of treatment-related mortality was low, at <2%. With appropriate management of common AEs, axicabtagene ciloleucel offers the potential for long-term durable responses in patients who otherwise lack curative treatment options. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Community oncologists should be familiar with key aspects of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell indications and eligibility to help recognize and refer potential patients for this paradigm-changing treatment option at the appropriate time during the disease course. To ensure optimal long-term outcomes for patients who have been treated with CAR T-cell therapy, oncologists must also be familiar with common prolonged AEs and their monitoring and management.


Diffuse large B‐cell lymphoma; High‐grade B‐cell lymphoma; Immunotherapy; Primary mediastinal B‐cell lymphoma; Transformed follicular lymphoma

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosures of potential conflicts of interest may be found at the end of this article.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center