The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

A patient’s minimal residual disease (MRD) status at day 28 after anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell (CAR-T) therapy for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was significantly associated with progression-free survival and overall survival, according to a poster presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

MRD helped identify “early at-risk patients prior to progression,” according to the researchers, and provides a rationale for designing MRD-based risk-adaptive CAR-T clinical trials.

The study enrolled 50 patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL undergoing CAR-T therapy with axicabtagene ciloleucel. MRD was measured prior to therapy and on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 56, 90, 180, 270, and 365 after infusion. Twenty-four patients had 3 or more months of follow-up and the treatment circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) MRD was significantly associated with clinical outcomes.

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Of these 24 patients, 12 tested as MRD positive and 12 as MRD negative at the 28-day landmark analysis. The majority of the MRD-positive patients (10 of 12) experienced disease progression; whereas, only 2 of the MRD-negative patients progressed. Ten of the 12 MRD negative patients remain in complete remission.

After a median follow-up of 237 days, the median progression-free survival was significantly better in patients who were MRD negative at day 28 (not reached vs 93 days; P =.0010). Similarly, patients who were found to be MRD negative had significantly better overall survival as well (not reached vs 281 days; P =.0399).

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of ASCO’s annual meeting by visiting the conference page.


Frank MJ, Hossain NM, Bukhari AA, et al. Monitoring ctDNA in r/r DLBCL patients following the CAR T-cell therapy axicabtagene ciloleucel: Day 28 landmark analysis. Presented at: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting; May 31-June 4, 2019. Abstract 7552.