Axi-Cel Granted Accelerated Approval for Relapsed/Refractory Indolent Follicular Lymphoma

The FDA has approved axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma following 2 or more lines of systemic therapy.

The FDA has approved axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma following 2 or more lines of systemic therapy.1 The regulatory decision was based on data from the phase 2 ZUMA-5 trial (NCT03105336), in which the CAR T-cell product elicited a response in 91% of patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma (n = 81); this included 60% of patients who achieved a complete remission (CR).

Notably, 74% of patients had a continued remission at 18 months. Among all patients with follicular lymphoma, the median duration of response (DOR) was not yet reached at a median follow-up of 14.5 months.

“Once a follicular lymphoma patient’s disease relapses, the duration of response to care shortens with each round of therapy,” Caron A. Jacobson, MD, MMSc, medical director of the Immune Effector Cell Therapy Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated in a press release. “Additionally, for patients with follicular lymphoma in the third line of therapy, the 5-year survival rate is only 20%, highlighting the urgent need for treatments that offer a real chance for durable remission. Impressively, 91% of [these] patients in the ZUMA-5 study responded to a single infusion of axicabtagene ciloleucel, including an estimated 74% of patients in a continued remission at 18 months, giving these patients much-needed hope and oncologists an important addition to the treatment armamentarium.”

The single-arm, open-label, multicenter trial enrolled 146 patients with either relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma who had previously received 2 or more lines of systemic therapy, including treatment with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody and an alkylating agent.

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