Investigating overall quality of life in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma undergoing CAR T-cell therapy
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Investigating overall quality of life in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma undergoing CAR T-cell therapy

Emma Williams Research manager, haematology, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the benefits and risks of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy

  • To enhance your knowledge of the support needs of patients who receive CAR T-cell therapy

  • To acknowledge the value of gaining data from patient-reported quality-of-life assessments

Background Some adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are eligible for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy. Although this novel immunotherapy can be life-extending, it can also lead to significant morbidity and mortality from associated toxicities. Patients with DLBCL are known to experience a poor quality of life, which may deteriorate or improve depending on their response to CAR T-cell therapy.

Aim To investigate the quality of life of patients receiving CAR T-cell therapy.

Method The design was a pilot prospective observational cohort study. Data were collected using two self-reported measures of health-related quality of life. The eight participants were asked to complete the questionnaires before commencing treatment and at 30 days, three months, six months, nine months, 12 months and 18 months post treatment.

Results One key result was that five participants out of eight had a reduced quality-of-life score at 30 days post treatment compared with baseline. However, the three patients who responded well to treatment experienced, on the whole, an improved quality of life. Five of the eight participants died during the data collection period and only three participants were able to complete the questionnaires at all time points.

Conclusion CAR T-cell therapy can offer some patients with DLBCL an improved quality of life, but there appears to be a reduction in quality of life at around 30 days post treatment, which may in part be due to treatment-related toxicities. Patients should be allocated a key worker and given the contact details of a member of the clinical team at the tertiary referral centre to ensure they have consistent support before, during and after treatment.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2024.e1861

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Williams E (2024) Investigating overall quality of life in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma undergoing CAR T-cell therapy. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2024.e1861


The author would like to thank the South Wales Bone Marrow Transplant team and its director Dr Keith Wilson (consultant haematologist) and the CAR T-cell therapy clinical team led by Dr Ceri Jones (consultant haematologist). The author would also like to thank their MSc supervisor, Jane Hopkinson, professor of nursing and interdisciplinary cancer care at Cardiff University

Published online: 21 May 2024

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