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Expert Point of View: Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD


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Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD

Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD

“The JULIET study, along with ZUMA-1, shows striking responses that are remarkably similar, even though there are differences in the signaling domains of both chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell products [tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) and axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta)],” said Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist and Director of Cellular Therapeutics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who moderated a press conference where the CAR T-cell data were discussed.

“The initial hoopla was about the high response rates in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), but the lingering questions were, how durable are these responses, and can they be extrapolated to other B-cell malignancies? These trials show that the answer is affirmative,” Dr. Brentjens continued. “Relapse rates in lymphoma are lower than in ALL,” he added.

“We have one CAR T-cell product approved for lymphoma, and it seems like lymphoma patients will soon have another option,” Dr. Brentjens said. “The overriding message is that CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapy can be very effective in a significant proportion of patients who have a highly untreatable disease.” ■

Disclosure: Dr. Brentjens reported no conflicts of interest.


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