Frederick Locke, MD, Speaks to Clinicians on the Use of Axi-cel in LBCL

Frederick Lock, MD, spoke about clinicians can best utilize the treatment of axicabtagene ciloleucel for patients with large B-cell lymphoma.

Frederick Locke, MD, vice chair of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy as well as program co-leader of Immuno-Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, spoke to CancerNetwork® about axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta; axi-cel) for patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) and how patients can best benefit from this treatment.1 The recent approval of the therapy was for patients who received frontline chemoimmunotherapy and relapsed within 12 months based on results from the phase 3 ZUMA-7 trial (NCT03391466) which compared axi-cel with standard of care therapy.2


The main thing for community oncologists to realize is that CAR T-cell therapy can be given to patients who are older and have comorbidities. It can be given to younger patients, and if patients need the FDA-approved label, they should be referred in for evaluation and consideration of CAR T-cell therapy. Unfortunately, there’s some misinformation out there in the community, in the ‘Twitterverse’, and elsewhere. These clinical trials that led to this approval enroll patients who had a poor prognosis, patients with high tumor burden. In fact CAR T-cell therapy works better than chemotherapy for patients with large amounts of tumor [burden], so the community oncologists should recognize that what we all want is what’s best for the patients. The data are clear that CAR T-cell therapy, if given as a second-line treatment offers the best outcomes for patients with LBCL.


  1. FDA approves axicabtagene ciloleucel for second-line treatment of large B-cell lymphoma. News release. FDA. April 1, 2022. Accessed April 8, 2022.
  2. Locke F, Miklos DB, Jacobson CA, et al. Primary analysis of ZUMA‑7: a phase 3 randomized trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) versus standard‑of‑care therapy in patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Blood. 2021;138(suppl 1):2. doi:10.1182/blood-2021-148039
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