Tisagenlecleucel utilisation and outcomes across refractory, first relapse and multiply relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a retrospective analysis of real-world patterns

Valentin Barsan, Yimei Li, Snehit Prabhu, Christina Baggott, Khanh Nguyen, Holly Pacenta, Christine L. Phillips, Jenna Rossoff, Heather Stefanski, Julie An Talano, Amy Moskop, Susanne Baumeister, Michael R. Verneris, Gary Douglas Myers, Nicole A. Karras, Stacy Cooper, Muna Qayed, Michelle Hermiston, Prakash Satwani, Christa KrupskiAmy Keating, Vanessa Fabrizio, Vasant Chinnabhandar, Michael Kunicki, Kevin J. Curran, Crystal L. Mackall, Theodore W. Laetsch, Liora M. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tisagenlecleucel was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 for refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and B-ALL in ≥2nd relapse. Outcomes of patients receiving commercial tisagenlecleucel upon 1st relapse have yet to be established. We aimed to report real-world tisagenlecleucel utilisation patterns and outcomes across indications, specifically including patients treated in 1st relapse, an indication omitted from formal FDA approval. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of real-world tisagenlecleucel utilisation patterns across 185 children and young adults treated between August 30, 2017 and March 6, 2020 from centres participating in the Pediatric Real-World CAR Consortium (PRWCC), within the United States. We described definitions of refractory B-ALL used in the real-world setting and categorised patients by reported Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell indication, including refractory, 1st relapse and ≥2nd relapse B-ALL. We analysed baseline patient characteristics and post-tisagenlecleucel outcomes across defined cohorts. Findings: Thirty-six percent (n = 67) of our cohort received tisagenlecleucel following 1st relapse. Of 66 evaluable patients, 56 (85%, 95% CI 74–92%) achieved morphologic complete response. Overall-survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) at 1-year were 69%, (95% CI 58–82%) and 49%, (95% CI 37–64%), respectively, with survival outcomes statistically comparable to remaining patients (OS; p = 0.14, EFS; p = 0.39). Notably, toxicity was increased in this cohort, warranting further study. Interestingly, of 30 patients treated for upfront refractory disease, 23 (77%, 95% CI 58–90%) had flow cytometry and/or next-generation sequencing (NGS) minimum residual disease (MRD)-only disease at the end of induction, not meeting the historic morphologic definition of refractory. Interpretation: Our findings suggested that tisagenlecleucel response and survival rates overlap across patients treated with upfront refractory B-ALL, B-ALL ≥2nd relapse and B-ALL in 1st relapse. We additionally highlighted that definitions of refractory B-ALL are evolving beyond morphologic measures of residual disease. Funding: St. Baldrick's/ Stand Up 2 Cancer, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102268
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • CAR T cells
  • CD19 CAR T cells
  • Commercial CAR
  • First relapse
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Real-world analysis
  • Tisagenlecleucel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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