Thrombopoietin receptor agonist for treating bone marrow aplasia following anti-CD19 CAR-T cells—single-center experience

Ofrat Beyar-Katz*, Chava Perry, Yael Bar On, Odelia Amit, Odit Gutwein, Ofir Wolach, Rotem Kedar, Oleg Pikovsky, Irit Avivi, Ronit Gold, Jonathan Ben-Ezra, David Shasha, Ronen Ben Ami, Ron Ram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anti CD-19 chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells demonstrate effective early anti-tumor response; however, impaired hematopoietic recovery is observed in about 30% of patients with prolonged cytopenia appearing as an unmet need for optimal treatment. All adult patients given commercially available anti CD-19 CAR-T for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) were screened at 21–28 days after CAR-T infusion for cytopenia. In case of severe persistent cytopenia, patients were given TPO receptor agonists. Initial dose of eltrombopag was 50 mg/day and gradually increased to a maximal dose of 150 mg/day. Romiplostim was given as subcutaneous injection once a week for 2 doses (125 mcg). Response was defined as transfusion independency along with resolution of severe neutropenia (ANC > 500 /microL) and/or platelets > 20,000/microL for three consecutive values on different days. TPO receptor agonists were tapered down when response was met. From May 2019 to December 2021, 93 patients were eligible (74%, tisagenlecleucel and 26%, axicabtagene ciloleucel). The median age was 69 (range, 19–85) years. Six patients (6.5%) (tisagenlecleucel, n = 4 or axicabtagene ciloleucel, n = 2) demonstrated prolonged severe cytopenia and were treated with TPO receptor agonists (eltrombopag, n = 4; romiplastim, n = 1, both drugs, n = 1). Median time from CAR-T infusion to initiation of TPO receptor agonist was 43 (range, 21–55) days. All patients were transfusion-dependent and were given daily GCSF prior to TPO receptor agonist administration. Response to TPO receptor agonists was seen in all 6 patients. Median time from TPO receptor agonist initiation to resolution of cytopenia was 22 (range, 8–124) days for Hb, 27 (range, 6–38) days for platelets, and 29 (range, 7–61) days for neutrophils. A complete resolution of all blood counts (ANC > 500 /microL and platelets > 20,000/microL and hemoglobin > 8 gr/dL) was seen in 5/6 patients. No toxicity was observed during the therapy course. This paper supports further investigation of TPO receptor agonists in the treatment of persistent cytopenia following CAR-T cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1776
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • CAR-T cells
  • Lymphoma
  • TPO agonists


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