Targeted Therapy With Tafasitamab Proves Effective in DLBCL


Hayder Saeed, MD, discusses how the mechanism of action of tafasitamab makes the therapy a potent cancer cell killer for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Hayder Saeed, MD, an associate member in the department of malignant hematology at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, discusses the mechanism of action of tafasitamab-cxix (Monjuvi) when used to treat patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

The CD19-directed cytolytic antibody was given an accelerated approval by the FDA in 2020 based off the results of the L-MIND study (NCT02399085), which looked at the use of tafasitamab in combination with lenalidomide (Revlimid). Results from the study initially showed an overall response rate (ORR) of 55% (95% CI, 43%-67%) in 71 evaluable patients with 37% of those response being complete responses (CRs). In 2023, the final 5-year efficacy results showed an increased ORR of 57.0% with CRs accounting for 41.3% of them.

In the final analysis, at a median follow-up of 44.0 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11.6 months (95% CI, 5.7-45.7) and a median overall survival of 33.5 months (95% CI, 18.3­–not reached). Across all subgroups of patients, benefit was seen for those patients on the combination therapy.

Here, Saeed discusses why the combination therapy has proved potent for patients with DLBCL and how targeting CD19 on the cancer cells makes tafasitamab an important regimen.


0:08 | It started with something called CD19 on the surface of B-lymphocytes or malignant B-lymphocytes. It can target and kill those cells in multiple ways; it can directly attach itself to that CD19 and enhance the killing of those malignant cells. Also, it can enhance the killing of those malignant cells through facilitating the immune system to recognize those cells.

0:40 | So, it can bring different types of immune cells that are naturally present in our body and fight cancer and enhance the recognition of the cancer cell and killing it. Different types of cells, such as natural killer cells or macrophages, have enhanced activity while tafasitamab is present. That's why there's some synergistic activity with lenalidomide, which is the compound associated with it, because they both work to enhance the immune system to kill the cancer cells.

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