Lymphoma CAR-T Cell Clinical Trial

The Royal Marsden has started a clinical trial, ZUMA 7, for patients with lymphoma using a pioneering cancer treatment, Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for the first time.

Thomas Romain with family

CAR-T cell therapy uses the patients’ own immune system to fight cancer. It involves collecting the patients’ own immune cells (called T cells) and using gene therapy techniques to make them more cancer specific. These gene modified cells are then re-infused back into patients and can find and kill cancer cells directly.

The Phase III randomised ZUMA 7 trial has recently opened at The Royal Marsden for patients with relapsed or refractory Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma and compares CAR-T cell therapy to the current standard of care.

After being approved for the ZUMA 7 trial, Thomas Romain, 27 (pictured left with his partner and child), was randomly selected to take part in the CAR-T cell arm of the trial after his non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma became resistant to standard first line chemotherapy. He said: “When I found out that not only was I eligible for this trial, but that it may also give me the chance to go into remission, I knew I had to give it a go.”

The Royal Marsden will be expanding the use of T-cell therapies for patients with solid tumours later this year, with trials opening in melanoma.

CAR-T cell therapy has shown effectiveness in a small number of patients worldwide with multiply relapsed Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma who are resistant to standard chemotherapy options and who have limited other treatment options.

Dr Emma Nicholson, Consultant Haematologist