Cytopenia after CAR-T Cell Therapy-A Brief Review of a Complex Problem

Author Department

Hematology/Oncology; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapy has emerged as an efficacious and life extending treatment modality with high response rates and durable remissions in patients with relapsed and refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), follicular lymphoma, and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) as well as in other diseases. Prolonged or recurrent cytopenias after CAR-T therapy have increasingly been reported at varying rates, and the pathogenesis of this complication is not yet well-understood but is likely contributed to by multiple factors. Current studies reported are primarily retrospective, heterogeneous in terms of CAR-Ts used and diseases treated, non-uniform in definitions of cytopenias and durations for end points, and vary in terms of recommended management. Prospective studies and correlative laboratory studies investigating the pathophysiology of prolonged cytopenias will enhance our understanding of this phenomenon. This review summarizes knowledge of these cytopenias to date.

Keywords: chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T); cytokines; prolonged cytopenia.