FDA Okays Liso-cel for Second Line in Large B-cell Lymphoma

Sharon Worcester

June 27, 2022

Lisocabtagene maraleucel, also known as liso-cel (Breyanzi), has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the second-line treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (r/r LBCL).

This expanded indication is based on findings from the pivotal phase 3 TRANSFORM study, which showed significant and clinically meaningful improvements with CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy over salvage chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy plus autologous stem cell transplant. The latter course of treatment had been the standard of care for more than 2 decades.

Data from the global, randomized, multicenter TRANSFORM study, as reported in December 2021 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, showed that second-line treatment with liso-cel in 92 patients with r/r LBCL within 12 months after first-line therapy, compared with 92 patient who received standard of care therapy, was associated with highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in event-free survival (10.1 vs. 2.3 months; hazard ratio, 0.349), complete response rate (66% vs. 39%), and progression-free survival (14.8 vs. 5.7 months; HR, 0.406).

A positive trend in overall survival was also observed (HR, 0.509 at median follow-up of 6.2 months). No new liso-cel safety signals were detected in the second-line setting.

Liso-cel was initially approved in February 2021 for the treatment of adults with LBCL, including diffuse LBCL not otherwise specified (including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma), high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B, who have:

  • Refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy.

  • Refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse after first-line chemoimmunotherapy and are not eligible for hematopoietic stem cell transplant because of comorbidities or age.

Liso-cel is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

In February 2022, the FDA granted Priority Review status for a Bristol-Myers Squibb supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA), based on the TRANSFORM study data, to expand the indication to include use after the failure of first-line therapy.

The agent "now has the potential to be a new standard of care for patients after failure of first-line therapy, offering significantly improved outcomes beyond the current mainstay of care," Anne Kerber, the BMS senior vice president of cell therapy development, said in a press release at that time.

The European Medicines Agency has also validated a type II variation application for extension of the indication for liso-cel in this setting. Validation of the application "confirms the submission is complete and begins the EMA's centralized review procedure," BMS announced in a June 20, 2022, press release.

Liso-cel, which has been available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, includes a boxed warning regarding the risk for cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic toxicities.

The warning states that liso-cel should not be administered to patients with active infection or inflammatory disorders, and that severe or life-threatening CRS should be treated with tocilizumab with or without corticosteroids.

Patients should also be monitored for neurologic events after treatment with liso-cel, and supportive care and/or corticosteroids should be administered as needed.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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