Adult patients with lymphoma whose disease was effectively treated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy showed marked improvement on a variety of self-reported quality of life measures.

The study offers evidence that CAR T-cell therapy may not only extend patients’ survival, but also improve their quality of life after treatment.

Before the advent of CAR T and other forms of cellular immunotherapy, patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) had limited treatment options and patients with advanced DLBCL had often already exhausted those options. CAR T-cell therapies show promise for these patients, demonstrating sustained clinical remissions and better survival rates.

Researchers evaluated quality of life in adult patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL undergoing treatment with a CAR T-cell therapy called tisagenlecleucel. Patients were asked to report on their quality of life using 2 tools. One of the tools assessed physical, social, emotional, and functional well-being as well as disease- and treatment-related symptoms, while the other elicited responses related to physical and social function, health perception, and mental health.

Data were collected prior to treatment and at months 3, 6, 12, and 18 following treatment, unless the patients discontinued participation in the study or their disease progressed.

Out of 108 evaluated patients, 57 achieved a complete or partial response to tisagenlecleucel treatment. Baseline scores of patient-reported quality of life outcomes were similar between the total patient population and those who responded to the therapy, but responsive patients demonstrated continued improvement in quality of life measures over time. Compared with baseline, their most significant improvements were in areas of general health, vitality, physical function, and social function.

The research team expressed hope that the findings surrounding quality of life improvement will support the value of the therapy.

Reference
  1. New study finds cellular immunotherapy treatment associated with improved quality of life [news release] Washington. American Society of Hematology website. Published February 19, 2020. https://www.hematology.org/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2020/1027aspx. Accessed March 3, 2020.