Emilie Aschenbrenner, PharmD, BCOP, on CAR-T Versus Bispecific Antibodies for the Treatment of LBCL


The hematology coordinator for pharmacy at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin discussed the advantages of each of the 2 modalities in the third and second line settings.

“...CAR-T is still a great option for patients that are fit enough to receive CAR T-cell therapy, are near an authorized treatment center, and have a caregiver. But now with these bispecific antibodies we now have consensus recommendations to give them in the community setting.... They don't necessarily need a dedicated caregiver for that full month, like a CAR T-cell therapy patient.”

Over the past 5 to 6 years, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy products have carved out an important space as a treatment option for patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) in the third line and ultimately second line settings. Although, new bispecific antibody treatments may now be poised to overtake this space from CAR-T, at least in some cases. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these 2 treatment modalities were the topic of a debate-style discussion held between Emilie Aschenbrenner, PharmD, BCOP, a hematology coordinator for pharmacy at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Katie Gatwood, PharmD, BCOP, a stem cell transplant and cellular therapy clinical pharmacist specialist at Vanderbilt University, at the 2024 Tandem Meetings |Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR, held in San Antonio, Texas, February 21-24, 2024. In the debate, Aschenbrenner represented the side of bispecific antibodies and Gatwood represented the side of CAR-T.

CGTLive® sat down with Aschenbrenner shortly after the discussion to learn more. She gave some background context about the debate and spoke about the advantages of each modality, noting that CAR-T has generated unprecedented positive overall survival data in the third line setting and that bispecific antibodies tend to induce fewer and shorter-duration incidences of the toxicities associated with CAR-T, like cytokine release syndrome and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS). She also touched on areas of interest for future research with these 2 modalities.

Click here for more coverage of Tandem 2024.

1. Aschenbrenner E. Taking a bite out of CAR-T: Debating use of CAR T-cell therapy vs bispecific antibodies in lymphoma. Presented at: 2024 Tandem Meetings, February 21-24, San Antonio, Texas.

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