CAR T-Cell Therapy Update From ASH 2017 | Patient Power

A good summary of the current state of CAR-T. This is an interview with Dr. David Maloney of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, conducted by medical journalist and CLL survivor Andrew Schorr, founder of the website “Patient Power”. (As it happens, a friend of ours was one of Dr. Maloney’s earliest fNHL CAR-T patients in summer of 2015.)


CAR-T and Medicare

The $373k price tag for Gilead/Kite’s FDA-approved CAR-T therapy has been a controversial issue from the outset. Now, Bloomberg reporter Michelle Cortez (whom we’ve mentioned before) has contributed to two stories this week regarding some fatal(!) delays in CAR-T coverage from Medicare. As lymphoma is a disease that often afflicts older people, there are sure to be many individuals who will be over 65 and dependent on Medicare when the time comes to seek a potentially curative treatment:

Months After Approval, Breakthrough Cancer Drug Given to Just Five Patients – Bloomberg

Novel Cancer Drug Gets Stymied by Medicare Rigid Billing System – Bloomberg

CAR T cell therapy shows long-lasting remissions in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients

The New England Journal of Medicine published these data today. Among 28 patients who received the therapy in the single-site pilot trial after their cancers had come back following standard treatments, 43 percent of DLBCL patients achieved complete remission, as did 71 percent of patients with follicular lymphoma, the second most common form of the disease. All patients who were in remission at six months are still in remission, after a median follow-up of 28.6 months.

“Taken together, our data from both trials show that most patients who are in remission at three months stay in remission,” said Schuster, who is the Robert and Margarita Louis-Dreyfus Professor in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinical Care and Research in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Lymphoma Program at the Abramson Cancer Center.


#ASH17: The big loser in CAR-T, Juno is making a bid to seize the fast lane to frontrunner status – ENDPOINTS NEWS

Juno Therapeutics may have lost the initial race for FDA approval of CAR-T (to Novartis and Gilead [Kite]), but they are preparing to demonstrate at December’s ASH 17 conference (American Society of Hematology), that theirs is the superior CAR-T therapy:

The analogy I’ll give you,” says R&D chief Sunil Agarwal: “Small changes in the antibody world can make big differences; all CARs are not the same… I think these data continue to support a best-in-class profile.”

(FYI, The CAR-T therapy I underwent at MSK in 2015 was in partnership with Juno, although the protocol was not JCAR017)

Mayo Clinic to Offer CAR T-Cell Therapy for Relapsed Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

October 31, 2017  Newswise — ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic announced today that its Rochester campus is one of 16 cancer centers nationally selected to provide chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR T-cell therapy) for adults with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have not responded to, or have relapsed, after two or more lines of treatment. The therapy, called axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta), is approved to treat subtypes of lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma arising from follicular lymphoma, and high-grade B-cell lymphoma.

Full article: