CAR-T Cell Therapy: Awareness and Impact of 2016 ASH Presentations


Presenting you with timely market feedback from the 58th ASH Annual Meeting held in December 2016, OBR and MDoutlook® are pleased to share results from MDoutlook’s OncoPolls™ conducted immediately after the meeting. This report examines US oncologists’ awareness, views and early involvement with the CAR-T cell therapies being developed for a variety of hematologic malignancies.

OncoPoll™ Methodology

  • Primary research phase involved a survey to verified and validated US hematological and medical oncologists with an identified clinical interest in B-cell lymphomas utilizing targeting parameters within the proprietary MDoutlook global cancer treater panel
  • Timing: December 2016. Launched 9 days after close of 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, held in San Diego, CA, December 3-6, 2016
  • Fielding to proprietary panel of cancer treaters, targeted by clinical interest
  • Data capture via interactive web-based survey instrument, utilizing proven MDoutlook methodology and proprietary technology
  • Multiple formulations / variants of the same target antigen & malignancy combination were often presented but the survey grouped all target antigen + malignancy together. Where relevant, reference was made to multiple abstracts in each category and links to these abstracts on the ASH website were provided within the survey for physician reference
  • Reponses at data collection: 100

Awareness and Expected Impact of Various CAR-T Cell Approaches for B-Lineage Malignancies

Key Conclusions

  • On a 0 – 5 scale of 0 = no awareness to 5 = very aware, clinicians have an average / slightly above average awareness of these presentations
    • A general higher level of awareness is seen by those who attended ASH
    • The average level awareness about the CD19 directed CAR-T cells in B-cell ALL is somewhat higher than others, as expected, since this approach is the furthest along in clinical development
  • All of these approaches, as rated on a 1 – 5 scale of 1 = not at all important to 5 = very important, are seen as being very clinically meaningful
    • CD19-directed CAR-T cell approach for B-cell ALL is held in a slightly higher regard than the other approaches
    • Attendees of the ASH Annual Meeting consistently rate each of these approaches as more important than the non-attendees, but only by a consistently small margin (0.1-0.4 pts)

Current Impact of CAR-T Studies on Clinical Practices

Key Conclusions

  • When asked about patient referrals to clinical trials for CAR-T cell therapies, meeting attendees average nearly 4 patients over the past year, whereas the non-attendees are around 1.5 patients. When separating respondents based on practice setting (academic vs. community), the averages are mostly similar (averages 2.6-3.0 patients per year)
  • When asking how common it was for patients to already ask about being treated with a CAR-T cell approach, ¾ of the attendees state that they have been asked about it (avg. 8 patients in last 6 months) while ~40% of non-attendees have been asked about it (avg. 2 patients in last 6 months)
    • Taking these 2 questions together, it appears that attendees could be considered “clinical investigators” and their patients tend to know this about them. As such, the patients of meeting attendees are more willing to ask for the newest treatment approaches (self-selection of patients to different physician types)
  • The involvement / leadership of NIH investigators in the CAR-T cell therapy development is seen as a positive aspect by US physicians, consistently rating ~7 on a 10-point scale

Conclusions: CAR-T Cell Therapies for B-Lineage Malignancies

  • All of these studies highlight the importance of the ASH Annual Meeting to the entire hematologic oncology community – awareness of each of these presentations are high and can occur quite quickly even for those who did not attend the meeting. Alternative methods to disseminate new clinical information are very important to improving clinical practices and patient outcomes
  • CAR-T cell therapies are already impacting clinicians in their day-to-day practices, even though they are not yet commercially available. Patients are asking their oncologists about them and physicians are regularly referring patients to their clinical trials.

For a more detailed analysis report, please click here to download the full report.

Submitted by Dr Robert Stephan, VP, Research and Physician Society, and Dr Jan Heybroek, President MDoutlook.

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