ICML2019︱Professor Yonghong ZHANG's Team Cheers Up for The Findings on CAR-T Therapy for Refractory and Relapsed Burkitt's Lymphoma in Children
(June 19, Lugano, Switzerland) The 15th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML 2019) is being held in Lugano, Switzerland, and it is the largest and highest-ranking academic forum in all aspects of lymphoma worldwide. As an academic event held twice a year, ICML has become a must-attend conference for scientists engaged in the research and treatment of lymphoma. This ICML attracts nearly 3,000 hematologists, clinical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pediatricians, pathologists and researchers involved in lymphoid tumor research and treatment around the world, and its content covers the latest basic, transformed and clinical data in the field of lymphoma.
Professor Yonghong ZHANG's research team contributed to ICML 2019, titled "Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) for refractory and relapsed Burkitt's lymphoma: early response in pediatric patients”. The study was selected as an oral speech on the first day of the conference and received wide attention. It is worth mentioning that the research achievements have been focused and recognized by Professor Carl H. June from the University of Pennsylvania, who is known as the godfather of cell therapy. Professor Carl H. June specifically mentioned the findings of the Team of Pediatric Lymphomas in Beijing Boren Hospital on CAR-T therapy for Burkitt's lymphoma in his keynote speech.
On behalf of the team, Dr. Wenqun ZHANG shared with the participating experts the results and clinical experience of applying CAR-T therapy for refractory and relapsed Burkitt's lymphoma in children in Beijing Boren Hospital.
Keynote Speech by Professor Carl H. June from The University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Wenqun ZHANG's On-site Report
Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is a highly invasive B-cell lymphoma that is highly prevalent in children, and it is the most common pathological type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in children. The clinical team led by Professor Yonghong ZHANG used a high-intensity and short-course chemotherapy regimen to treat BL and achieved good efficacy, especially use of rituximab achieved a 5-year event-free survival rate up to 80% in high-risk patients. However, 10%-15% of patients with Burkitt's lymphoma had no response to chemotherapy. Once the intensity of chemotherapy was weak or the chemotherapy was delayed, the tumor cells would rapidly develop drug resistance, and the patients would have no response to chemotherapy again, be difficult to achieve remission again and lose the possibility of cure. In such case, the effective rate of second-line chemotherapy was less than 10%, and the survival rate of tumor-bearing transplantation was 0. In previous similar cases, treatment could only be given up. In the face of the urgent problems, experts continue to explore new solutions.
Professor Yonghong ZHANG said that the success of CAR-T in the treatment of refractory and relapsed leukemia is a great encouragement to clinicians, then there is another report on the success of CAR-T in the treatment of adult diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and the data of several clinical trials have demonstrated that CAR-T cells can treat various subtypes of B-cell lymphomas, including follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma, but no report of CAR-T in the treatment of Burkitt's lymphoma has been seen before.
The Pediatric Lymphoma Team in Beijing Boren Hospital has first created the sequential CD19/CD20/CD22-CAR-T therapy for refractory and relapsed Burkitt's lymphoma in children, which is a breakthrough innovation in the field of pediatric lymphoma and is a new idea in the treatment of Burkitt's lymphoma. It is more noteworthy that this study has shown a strong therapeutic effect. The CAR-T response rate in 5 children with Burkitt's lymphoma in this study was up to 100%, and even in the relatively mature treatment of leukemia with CAR-T, the response rate of 100% is also relatively rare. Moreover, we also noted that the relevant toxic reactions of sequential CAR-T in this study were moderate and controllable.
The results of this study, for children with refractory and relapsed Burkitt's lymphoma who have no response to chemotherapy, are tantamount to a ray of light in the dark night, rekindling the hope of life, and have profound significance for clinicians or patients and families.
Professor Yonghong ZHANG at the ICML
Professor Yonghong ZHANG's research team shared with the participating experts the clinical experience of applying CAR-T therapy for relapsed and refractory BL in Beijing Boren Hospital through real-world clinical cases, which attracted wide attention and heated discussion of the participants, provided the participants a new idea for treatment of refractory and relapsed BL and broadened the new thinking of clinical treatment. It is worth mentioning that this study was also selected as the poster report at the 24th Conference of the European Hematology Association (EHA 2019) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to show Boren's achievements to more international colleagues, and Boren's achievements have attracted wide attention and won positive recognition of the international academic community. Beijing Boren Hospital always adheres to the all-round development of clinical and scientific research and leads the hospital development with academic spirit. Beijing Boren Hospital is characterized by integrated medicine, cellular immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and accurate diagnosis, constantly explores new technologies and methods to maximize the therapeutic effect, and brings hopes to many patients with blood diseases.