Subcutaneous epcoritamab appears to be an effective treatment among patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Although treatment options have improved for patients with LBCL over the past several decades, outcomes are still poor, particularly among those with relapsed or refractory disease.

Recently, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has shown clinical promise for patients with LBCL. There is, however, concern that many patients may not be able to afford these treatments, and across the world, there may be differential access to the technological tools needed to create this novel class of therapies.

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Epcoritamab — a subcutaneous bispecific antibody that targets both CD3 and CD20 —was designed to activate T-cells to kill CD20-expressing cancer cells. Preclinical study showed that epcoritamab may be effective at destroying LBCL cells; a phase 2 dose escalation study of the drug, furthermore, met its primary endpoint in a patient population. In this paper, the authors presented data from the same study’s LBCL expansion cohort.

Overall, 157 patients were enrolled and treated on this study. The median patient age was 64 years, 59.9% of patients were male sex, 88.5% of patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 61.8% of patients had Ann Arbor stage IV disease, and 61.1% of patients had primary refractory disease.

The median follow-up was 10.7 months. At this point, the overall response rate was 63.1% (95% CI, 55.0-70.6); the complete response rate was 38.9% (95% CI, 31.2-46.9). The median duration of response was, furthermore, 12 months in the overall cohort and not reached among patients with a complete response.

Treatment-related events included cytokine release syndrome (49.7%), pyrexia (23.6%), and fatigue (22.9%); 1 fatal case of immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity was also observed.

“These results support ongoing and future clinical trials of epcoritamab both as monotherapy and in combination in late and earlier lines of treatment for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” the authors wrote in their report.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 


Thieblemont C, Phillips T, Ghesquieres H, et al. Epcoritamab, a novel, subcutaneous CD3xCD20 bispecific T-cell-engaging antibody, in relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma: dose expansion in a phase I/II trial. J Clin Oncol. Published online December 22, 2022. doi:10.1200/JCO.22.01725