Background: Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell successes have encouraged continued clinical study. Apheresis collection of starting material for CAR-T cell therapy product manufacturing is critical but described approaches suggest variability and clinical guidelines are currently lacking. The goal of this study was to gather and assess variability in apheresis collection descriptions in publicly available CAR T-cell therapy clinical trials. Study design: We searched clinicaltrials.gov (a publicly available clinical trial database) for “chimeric antigen receptor T cells” on July 01, 2020 and studies accessed July 30, 2020-August 15, 2020. Data collected included date posted, study characteristics, apheresis mentions (number, location, and context), laboratory parameters and transfusion allowances. Apheresis context was analyzed using a qualitative inductive approach of grounded theory method with open coding. Text was classified into 37 context codes, grouped into 12 categories, and then consolidated into patient, procedure, product, and miscellaneous themes. Results: Apheresis was mentioned 1044 times in 322 (51.9%) of 621 total studies. Laboratory parameters mentioned included white blood cells (100 studies), absolute neutrophil count (220 studies), absolute lymphocyte count (102 studies), CD3+ cell (38 studies), hemoglobin (233 studies, 54 studies specified transfusion allowance), and platelet (269 studies, 48 studies specified transfusion allowance). Conclusions: Apheresis collection of CAR-T cell products is not well-defined in clinical study descriptions and the context is inconsistent. Laboratory parameters useful for apheresis collection are variably present and do not consistently align with current practices. Further exploration, and clinical guideline development will encourage alignment of apheresis collections for CAR-T cell products.
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