Yescarta Associated With Better Outcomes Than Other Available Treatments for Relapsed/Refractory Follicular Lymphoma

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These findings, according to one of the study’s authors, demonstrate that Yescarta addresses an important unmet medical need for patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma.

Treatment with Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) demonstrates significant improvements of several treatment outcomes compared to other available therapies and could be a superior treatment option for patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma, according to recent findings.

“(Objective response rate), (complete response), (progression-free survival) and (time to next treatment) comparisons showed statistically significant improvements highlighting deep and durable treatment effect of (Yescarta) in this patient population,” said study author Dr. John Gribben, a professor of medical oncology at Cancer Research UK Barts Centre, in a presentation of the findings at the 2021 European Hematology Association (EHA) Virtual Conference.

Researchers sought to compare outcomes from an updated 18-month analysis of the ZUMA-5 trial (which assessed the efficacy of Yescarta) to a similar sample of patients from the SCHOLAR-5 external control cohort.

The study authors analyzed 85 patients from the SCHOLAR-5 cohort (median age, 61 years; 61.9% males), and 86 patients from ZUMA-5 (median age, 62 years; 55.8% males). Patients included in this study had to have low- to intermediate-grade relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma and have failed two or more previous lines of treatment as well as have an ECOG score of 0 or 1 (a patient’s level of functioning and ability to care for themselves with 0 being fully functioning and 4 being disabled).

Objective response rate (or the rate of a measurable response to the treatment) among the patient population was substantially higher in the ZUMA-5 trial (94.2%) than in the SCHOLAR-5 trial (49.9%). Moreover, complete responses were significantly improved in the ZUMA-5 cohort (79.1%) than in the SCHOLAR-5 cohort (29.9%).

A median progression-free survival (time during and after treatment when the patient lives without disease progression) was not reached in the cohort from ZUMA-5, whereas it was 12.68 months in the SCHOLAR-5 cohort. Additionally, a median overall survival (time from diagnosis or treatment start when patients are alive) was not reached in the ZUMA-5 cohort; however, median overall survival in the SCHOLAR-5 cohort was 59.8 months.

“The substantial overall survival benefit seen in this study suggest that (Yescarta) addresses an important unmet medical need for relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma patients,” said Gribben.

Median time to next treatment also significantly favored the patient group from the ZUMA-5 cohort (not reached) over the SCHOLAR-5 cohort (14.43 months).

Of note, neither a median overall survival, progression-free survival or time to next treatment were met in a primary and subgroup analysis of the patient group from ZUMA-5.

“This data certainly supports that (Yescarta) represents a significant improvement in treatment options for patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma,” Gribben concluded.

Based on findings from the phase 2 ZUMA-5 trial, the Food and Drug Administration approved Yescarta for the treatment of this patient population in March 2021.

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