Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘Aggressive Lymphoma’

Are new pillars emerging in DLBCL?

It’s time to take a short break from the immunometabolism mini-series and turn our attention to aggressive lymphomas such as diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCL).

This week heralded the latest AACR virtual meeting on Advances in Lymphoma in conjunction with iCML.  There were plenty of science focused talks to listen to and learn from, including new developments in oncogenic targeting.

What if we can learn from what the patients underlying biology can teach us in terms of more rationally designed clinical trials?

We know these are diverse and heterogeneous tumours, but this doesn’t mean we can’t take a more precision medicine approach to treating patients.  What can we learn from early trial readouts and genetic analyses?

It turns out, the answer is quite a bit and more information might be available at the forthcoming ASH meeting, so let’s look at what we can piece together from the available data now…

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When should someone receive CAR T cell therapy? How do we identify who will benefit most or who will be most likely to fail? Those are some of the questions we’re considering in our latest expert interview.

As we see the landscapes around aggressive lymphomas and multiple multiple evolve and change with more near-term CAR T cell therapy approvals coming, so too do the clinical questions surrounding the optimising of these novel approaches.

Prof John Gribben, President of EHA (right) at CART2020 in Sitges

At the EHA/EBMT 2nd European meeting on CAR T cell therapy, BSB spoke with Professor John Gribben. He’s the current President of the European Hematology Association (EHA) and holds the Gordon Hamilton Fairley Chair of Medical Oncology at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary, University of London.

One of his messages was when considering CAR T cell therapy, it’s a delicate question of balance.

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Salt Lake City – at the 2018 BMT Tandem meeting (Twitter: #BMTTandem18) the combined annual meeting of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), one of the presentations of note today was a 7am breakfast symposium entitled:

Realizing the Promise of CAR T cell Therapy for Leukemia and Lymphoma: Implications for Long-term Care in the Era of Stem Cell Transplantation.”

Cancer cells in culture Source: Dr Cecil Fox, National Cancer Institute

This educational session supported by grants from Kite/Gilead and Novartis, featured two BMT transplant experts with hands-on experience of CAR T cell trials: Dr Stephan Grupp (@GruppSteve) from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr Krishna Komanduri (@drkomanduri) from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

We’ve previously interviewed both Dr Grupp and Dr Komanduri on BSB, so were keen to hear how leading transplanters view the CAR T landscape now that two therapies have been approved by the FDA, and how they think this approach will integrate with transplants, and which patients will benefit most from this therapy.

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Yesterday Novartis announced the initial data from the JULIET trial in relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphomas such as diffuse large cell lymphomas (DLBCL) that were presented at the upcoming International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (iCML) meeting in Lugano.

Here at BSB, we’ve been following CAR T cell therapy developments in earnest since 2012 when Penn and Novartis first announced their collaboration to develop what is now known as CTL019.

Five years on, we now have two such cell therapy products already filed with the Health Authorities and the JULIET trial will likely be the third indication submitted by the end of the year. This niche is now well established for regular readers and not something that has been a flash in the pan over a year or so.

There are a few interesting points of note on the CAR T cell front that are also worth exploring in conjunction with this news.

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