Jason Westin, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, speaks about his presentation on the primary overall survival analysis of the phase III ZUMA-7 study during the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
The randomized study compared axicabtagene ciloleucel with standard‑of‑care therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Results from primary analysis of event-free survival in ZUMA-7 previously showed it was superior to the standard-of-care as second-line therapy for patients with early relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL).
“This year, we’re presenting the primary analysis for overall survival,” Dr. Westin said. “What we found is that axi-cel improved significantly overall survival, with a hazard ratio of 0.726. Very impressive results. This is the first time in nearly 30 years there’s been a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in second-line large B-cell lymphoma.”
Dr. Westin highlighted the clinical significance of these findings and how they may impact practice moving forward.
“The findings from our study definitively conclude that the old paradigm is inferior to using axi-cel as a second-line treatment,” he said. “We believe that our findings represent a paradigm shift and that axi-cel should be considered as a second-line treatment option.”
However, he noted that there’s still room for improvement and further research.
“The ZUMA-7 clinical trial was a paradigm-changing trial, but obviously we have more work to do,” Dr. Westin said. “The overall survival rates at four years were 54.6% in the axi-cel arm, which is better than what we’ve seen previously. But that still means that [for] about half of our patients, we still need to do better.”
He also spoke about what he sees as the next steps with this line of research, highlighting the randomized phase III ZUMA-23 trial, which is currently in progress. The trial will evaluate the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy as a first-line treatment option and compare it to standard of care.
“This is the first trial in any cancer to look at a CAR-T cell therapy for patients with newly diagnosed cancer, and we’re eagerly anticipating results,” Dr. Westin said.