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Ocular adverse events associated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy: a case series and review


Background/aims Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy has been shown to improve the remission rate and survival for patients with refractory haematological malignancies. The aim of this study is to describe ocular adverse effects associated with CAR T therapy in patients with haematological malignancies.

Methods This is a retrospective, single-institution, case series. Patients aged 18 years or older who received standard of care CAR T therapy for relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma with a documented ophthalmic evaluation were included. The primary outcome was clinician ophthalmic examination findings.

Results A total of 66 patients received CAR T-cell therapy from February 2018 to October 2019 with 11 receiving an ophthalmic examination. Eleven patients (n=22 eyes) who received CAR T-cell therapy were included in review. The median time from CAR T-cell infusion date to ocular examination was 57.5 days. The median patient age at the time of examination was 60.5 years. Ten patients had subjective symptoms prompting ophthalmic examination. Two patients reported floaters and photopsias. One patient had worsening ocular graft-versus-host disease. Two patients were identified with possible reactivation of viral infections, including herpes zoster ophthalmicus and regressing acute retinal necrosis.

Conclusions The increasing use of CAR T therapy for malignancies underscores the importance of ophthalmologists and oncologists understanding the potential toxicities associated with its use, particularly ocular toxicities and when to refer for an ophthalmic examination.

  • immunology
  • neoplasia

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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