A phase I/II study evaluating the safety and activity of memory-enriched CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CD19-CAR) T cells in adults with relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Patients and Methods:

In phase I, we tested sequentially two cell populations for CAR transduction: (i) central memory (Tcm) or (ii) naïve, stem, and central memory (Tn/mem) T cells. The study employed an activity constrained for toxicity design to determine the recommended phase II dose (RP2D), which was tested in phase II.


The Tcm cohort was closed early due to lack of activity. The 200 ×106 Tn/mem-derived CD19-CAR T-cell dose was found to be safe and active, and was declared the RP2D. At RP2D, 58 participants underwent leukapheresis and 46 received CD19-CAR T cells. Median age for treated participants was 38 years (range, 22–72). Twenty-nine (63%) participants had relapsed post-allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT), 18 (39%) had Philadelphia-like (Ph-like) genotype, and 16 (35%) had extramedullary disease (EMD) at lymphodepletion (LD). Three (7%) participants had grade 3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS), and none had grade ≥ 4 CRS. Eight (17%) participants had grade ≥ 3 neurotoxicity, including one fatal cerebral edema. Forty (87%) patients achieved complete remission (CR)/CR with incomplete hematologic recovery, 2 (4%) progressed, and 4 (9%) were unevaluable for response. Among 42 response-evaluable participants, 16/17 with Ph-like ALL and 13/15 with EMD at LD responded. Twenty-one (53%) responders underwent alloHCT consolidation, which was associated with improved relapse-free survival (adjusted HR = 0.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.05–0.48; P = 0.001).


Tn/mem-derived CD19-CAR T cells were safe and active, including in Ph-like ALL and EMD.

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