In Some Populations, Patients With Lymphoma May Have Less Access to CAR T-Cell Therapy

April 02, 2024

Some patients being treated for B-cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) may not have equal access to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, according to research published last week in NEJM Evidence

In this analysis, investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania assessed the percentage of patients from minority health populations (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) who were treated for large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) and the percentage who received CAR T-cell therapy at two different cancer centers: Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) and the Oregon Health and Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute (KCI).

Results demonstrated that the percentage of minorities with NHL in the centers’ catchment areas mirrored the percentages treated at each center, indicating equitable access to cancer care. However, investigators found limited access to treatment with CAR T-cell therapy for minority patients. At the ACC, minority populations accounted for 15.7% of LBCL patients treated and 6.7% of LBCL patients who received CAR T-cell therapy. At the KCI, minorities accounted for 6.6% of LBCL patients treated and 4.2% of LBCL patients who received CAR T-cell therapy.

While the results suggest that there may be inequitable access to CAR T-cell therapy for minority patients, investigators noted that larger studies are needed to validate their findings. In addition, they emphasized that future studies should investigate the causes of reduced access to CAR T-cell therapies to help inform strategies to improve the inclusion of minority patients in these therapies.