Natacha Bolanos, from Lymphoma Coalition, Madrid, Spain, speaks about the patient perspective of CAR T-cell therapy at the 1st European CAR T-Cell Meeting, held in Paris, France, co-organized by the European Society for Blood & Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and the European Hematology Association (EHA).
Transcript (edited for clarity)
Well if we look how the media has communicated the benefit of CAR T-cell therapy we discovered that everything has been mentioned about the curative promise of the therapy, which is great. And it’s part of the truth. But we have missed some information about the risks behind that promise. And also that that promising therapy comes for the very small population of patients. That now means that they need to be on relapse or refractory settings. Probably in the future it’s going to be move to other settings, but right now what we have in the market currently is indicated for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or with B-cell lymphoma, and in a very specific context.
And we need to put the risks on the value proposition as well because it’s therapy that brings an enormous benefit compared with what we have. We need to understand that it’s patients that are candidates for CAR T-cell therapy are running out of options. And when you don’t have any other option to have a curative promise, it looks great. But I mean the symptoms are quite difficult to manage for some patients, not all respond the same way. Some patients develop these symptoms in a very aggressive way. The toxicity can be really life threatening. We need to understand very well. And even in the future try to identify to have some kind of markers to predict which patients will respond well to the efficacy of the therapy, but also how they will respond to the safety profile, to the toxicity.