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EBMT 2021 Annual Meeting - Jian Jian Luan Award

Lymphoma Working Party (LWP)

EBMT 2021 Jian-Jian Luan Award: Wolfgang Bethge

AA2 Abstracts Awards

Tuesday, March 16, 17:30 - 18:00, Auditorium 1

The 2021 Jian-Jian Luan Award has been awarded to Professor Wolfgang Bethge of University Hospital Tűbingen, Germany, for his study “Standard-of-care CAR-T Cell therapy for large B-Cell Lymphoma: real world data Germany”

The winning abstract can be viewed here:

Q: Congratulations on receiving this year's Jian-Jian Luan Award Wolfgang. How did you feel when you received the news?

A: It was a total surprise! I was both humbled and grateful. Of course, such a project is never done by a single person. I receive this award in the name of the German Lymphoma Alliance (GLA) and the German Stem Cell Transplantation Registry (DRST). This award would have not been possible without the work and support of all the PIs in the different centers.

Q: Tell us a bit about you. Where are you based, and the specialist areas that you work in?

A: I am deputy medical director of the Department of Hematology & Oncology and head of the cellular therapy and stem cell transplantation unit at the University Hospital of Tuebingen, Germany. My special interests are clinical trials in cellular therapy and stem cell transplantation. I am also heading the hospitals clinical trial unit.

Q: Tell us the background to your study, where did you get the idea for it?

A: With the increased use of CAR-T cells in daily routine, it is more than natural to ask how this therapy performs outside of clinical trials in the real world. Are the results different? So far there were no real-world data available in Germany.

Q: What were the main findings of the study?

A: We could collect the results of more than 200 CAR-T cell therapies in aggressive lymphoma. Toxicities and complications are manageable, but require special experience with such therapies. The overall response rate was 60%. However, relapse free survival, which is the major aim of this therapy, was only in the range of 20%. Therefore, we see very good early activity of the treatment but somewhat unsatisfying long-term success.

Q: What are the implications of the study?

A: We will need more insights in risk factors for relapse after CAR-T cell therapy and improved strategies for selecting the right patients. Also, CAR-T cell therapy is so far only offered very late in the treatment algorithm of lymphoma. There are studies on the way for earlier use of this very promising new therapy.

Q: Tell us some of the sessions you would like to watch at this year’s EBMT virtual congress. 

A: For sure the presidential symposium and sessions on new developments in CAR-T and allogeneic transplantation

Thank you Wolfgang, congratulations on your award and we hope you enjoy this year’s EBMT online congress.