DOI: 10.1111/ejh.14092 ISSN:

Adverse events and efficacy of second‐round CAR‐T cell therapy in relapsed pediatric B‐ALL

Qi Ji, Xiaochen Wu, Yongping Zhang, Liang Zeng, Yi Dong, Ruiqing Liu, Bohan Li, Zhenjiang Bai, Shaoyan Hu, Jun Lu, Shuiyan Wu
  • Hematology
  • General Medicine



Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T‐cell therapy has transformed the treatment approach for pediatric patients suffering from relapsed/refractory B‐cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B‐ALL). However, there was a paucity of data on the challenges associated with second‐round CAR‐T therapy in this population.


Medical records of nine pediatric patients who received second‐round CAR‐T therapy in a single center from June 2019 to May 2023 were analyzed. Throughout the course of the clinical trial, we evaluated adverse events including CRS, CRES, infections, hematologic toxicity, and organ injury, as well as CAR‐T responses.


Except for one patient who chose CART therapy due to testicular relapse, the remaining patients had indications for CAR‐T therapy due to relapse with bone marrow alone or combined with other site. There were no difference between the transfusion dose of CART1 and CART2. No differences of incidence and grade of CRS was found between the first‐round CAR‐T therapy (CART1) and second‐round CAR‐T therapy (CART2). Additionally, we found that the incidence of CRES was higher for CART1(3/9,33.3%) than CART2(1/9,11.1%). Our findings revealed that there were no differences of IL‐2, IL‐4, IL‐6, IL‐10, IFN‐γ, and TNF‐α between CART1 and CART2, but the peak level of IL‐17A was significantly higher in patients receiving CART1 compared to those receiving CART2 (p = .011). Early and late infection rates after CART1 were higher than CART2. Based on the dynamic changes of ANC, hemoglobin and platelet, ANC, and platelet were reduced obviously post CART. It seems that the incidences of severe thrombocytopenia and severe anemia were higher in the CART1 group compared to CART2. The MRD‐negative CR rates for CART1 and CART2 are 100% and 44.4%, respectively (p = .029). All patients experienced events (relapse, chemotherapy, transplantation, or death) after receiving CART2, including one died, three discharged automatically, and the remaining five patients survived.


Although the remission rate of CART2 is not as high as the CART1 due to the severity of the disease, its safety regarding CRS, CRES, infections, and organ injury is still excellent. Therefore, CART2 remains a viable option for treating pediatric relapsed B‐ALL.

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