The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy recently released an expert opinion on the clinical application of CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).1

There are currently 2 CD19-directed CAR-T therapies that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration: axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) and tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah). Given the recent introduction of these treatments, concerns still exist about their clinical application.

“The aim of this article is to provide consensus opinion from experts in the fields of hematopoietic cell transplantation, cellular immunotherapy, and lymphoma regarding key clinical questions pertinent to the utilization of CD19 CAR T for the treatment of NHL,” the expert panel wrote. “As the clinical practice using CAR T cells grows worldwide, we anticipate that this guidance will be relevant for hematology/oncology physicians who care for patients with lymphomas.”

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The expert panel convened for this opinion focused on 10 key clinical questions pertaining to CAR-T, and provided a detailed consensus opinion for each.

A summary of their recommendations includes:

  • Early referral for consideration for CAR-T in patients with relapsed or refractory disease
  • Using disease volume, prior response to therapies and comorbidities to guide decisions about choice of bridging therapy
  • Consider CAR-T in patients who have undergone a prior autologous or allogeneic transplant
  • Monitor patients for cytokine release syndrome and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome after treatment
  • Monitor patients for cytopenias, hypogammaglobulinemia, and infection, and treat as clinically indicated
  • Use PET/CT for initial staging at day +30 and day +90. If complete response is achieved, CT imaging is appropriate for follow-up

Correction: This article was updated on 9/12/19 to reflect the fact that that the American Society of Hematology did not, in fact, collaborate on the manuscript as previously stated.

Disclosure: Some of the authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original study.


Jain T, Bar, M, Kansagra AJ, et al. Utilization of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T Cell therapy in clinical practice for relapsed/refractory aggressive B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: An expert panel opinion from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy [published online August 22, 2019]. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.08.015