Trial Shows CAR-T Cells May Be Effective in Treating Brain, Spinal Cord Lymphoma

Lymphoma usually starts in the spinal cord or brain, although sometimes tumors can spread to these sites from other regions in the body. This cancer is usually difficult to treat, particularly once the tumors don’t respond to the standard treatments. In such cases, patients do not live longer than a couple of years.

Investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found that a new CAR-T cell therapy may be effective in the treatment of lymphoma of the brain and/or spinal cord. They discovered that the axi-cel (axicabtagene ciloleucel) therapy could be safely administered to patients with the above indication. They presented their findings at the 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

The researchers stated that while prior research had shown that CAR-T cells could access the brain, not much was known about the neurological toxicities that could appear during treatment and how they affected the body. Their primary objective was to evaluate the safety of using the axi-cel therapy in treating primary and secondary central nervous system lymphoma.

For their research, the investigators carried out an in-depth molecular study of individual CAR-T cells extracted from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with lymphoma. They genetically rewired these cells to bind to tumors and destroy them, after analyzing them using advanced single-cell techniques.

They enrolled patients into a pair of cohorts: one that included patients with lymphoma only in the central nervous system and the other for patients with lymphoma in both the body and the central nervous system. They then carried out an analysis, which revealed that the cells in the cerebrospinal fluid displayed a molecular signature that demonstrated activation of the interferon pathway, which plays a critical role in the human immune response.

They also observed that almost 80% of the patients saw their tumors shrink or even disappear as a result of the axi-cel therapy, with 67% of the patients also revealing that their tumors completely disappeared. The researchers note that the median overall survival was 19 months.

Caron Jacobson, who led the trial, stated that there weren’t a lot of treatment options available for patients suffering from lymphoma of the central nervous system. She also explained that their results suggested that expanding CAR-T cell applicability to lymphoma could improve the outcomes of patients with this indication.

In their report, the researchers noted that while more trials were needed, the data did suggest that the axi-cel therapy yielded responses that were more long-lasting than current treatments for lymphoma of the central nervous system.

As newer approaches to cancer treatment are commercialized by enterprises such as QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM), patients will have a better chance of improved clinical outcomes as they fight against the cancers afflicting them.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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