Risk of infection following CAR T-cell therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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A retrospective analysis of patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy showed that infections were common within the first 60 days post-treatment, but were not associated with an increased risk of death, according to an article published in Blood Cancer Journal.

The cohort included 60 DLBCL patients who received approved CAR T-cell therapy. The researchers documented the incidence, risk factors, and management of infections during the first year after treatment.

Researchers found a total of 101 infectious events, mostly caused by bacteria. The cumulative incidence of overall, bacterial, severe bacterial, viral, and fungal infection at one year were 63.3, 57.2, 29.6, 44.7, and 4 per cent, respectively.

The use of systemic corticosteroids was associated with an increased risk of infections and prolonged admission. History of infections within 30 days prior to CAR T-cell therapy was a risk factor for severe bacterial infection.

These findings show that infection is common in DLBCL patients treated with CD19 CAR-T cells, but most infectious events occur early and are largely manageable. Appropriate infection prophylaxis in these patients remains undetermined.