Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer of the lymphatic system, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a common type of NHL. DLBCL develops from abnormal B-cells (a type of white blood cell), with the abnormal cells being larger than normal, healthy B-cells. The abnormal cells in DLBCL are spread diffusely throughout the tumour. The causes of DLBCL are not known, but most people diagnosed with the disease are aged 65 years and over, and the disease affects slightly more men than women.
Lisocabtagene maraleucel (Liso-Cel) is a therapy that uses the patient’s own cells to fight the cancer. Healthy white blood cells are taken from the patient’s blood and re-programmed to fight the cancer cells in DLBCL. When these cells are returned to the body, the programmed cells act by tracking down and destroy the cancer cells. If licensed, this therapy would provide a new kind of treatment for patients whose DLBCL has come back after previous successful treatment (relapsed) or where the disease has not responded to previous treatment (refractory). This therapy also has the potential to improve patient treatment by being available in an outpatient setting when compared to similar treatments that have to be administered in a hospital/specialist setting.
Daratumumab injected under the skin (subcutaneous formulation) is in development for the treatment multiple myeloma (MM) as an alternative to currently approved daratumumab intravenous formulation. MM is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow where large amounts of abnormal plasma cells are produced and interfere with the production of platelets, red and white blood cells. People with MM will experience periods of time without symptoms followed by periods when the illness comes back (‘relapsed’ MM). Eventually the periods without symptoms will shorten and the illness will become immune to the drugs given to treat it (‘refractory’ MM).