Background: Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) is an autologous chimeric antigen receptor T-cell based anti-CD19 therapy. The ZUMA-1 study, multicenter, single-arm, registrational Phase 1/2 study of axi-cel demonstrated high objective response rate in patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Here, we present the results of the bridging study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of axi-cel in Japanese patients (JapicCTI-183914). Methods: This study was the phase 2, multicenter, open-label, single-arm trial. Following leukapheresis, axi-cel manufacturing and lymphodepleting chemotherapy, patients received a single infusion of axi-cel (2.0 × 106 cells/kg). Bridging therapy between leukapheresis and conditioning chemotherapy was not allowed. The primary endpoint was objective response rate. Results: Among 17 enrolled patients, 16 received axi-cel infusion. In the 15 efficacy evaluable patients, objective response rate was 86.7% (95% confidence interval: 59.5–98.3%); complete response/partial response were observed in 4 (26.7%)/9 (60.0%) patients, respectively. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed. Grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 16 (100%) patients—most commonly neutropenia (81.3%), lymphopenia (81.3%) and thrombocytopenia (62.5%). Cytokine release syndrome occurred in 13 (81.3%) patients (12 cases of grade 1 or 2 and 1 case of grade 4). No neurologic events occurred. Two patients died due to disease progression, but no treatment-related death was observed by the data-cutoff date (October 23, 2019). Conclusion: The efficacy and safety of axi-cel was confirmed in Japanese patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma who have otherwise limited treatment options. Trial registration: JapicCTI-183914.
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