BiTE Therapy May Extend Survival Time in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia may have prolonged survival with Blincyto, especially among those who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Therapy with Blincyto (blinatumomab), a CD19 BiTE (bispecific T-cell engager), demonstrated a longer survival time for patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to data published in Cancer.

Allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was typically viewed as the only curative option for patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to the study’s introduction. Blincyto has previously been shown to be a potential therapy with long-term survival benefit even without hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

In this current study, researchers assessed data from two phase 2 studies which evaluated the use of Blincyto in 259 heavily pretreated adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative, released/refractory B-cell prosecutor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In particular, researchers focused on the survival of patients who were treated with Blincyto.

With a median follow-up of 36 months, median overall survival in all patients was 7.5 months regardless of response.

During 35 months of follow-up, median relapse-free survival (the length of time after primary treatment ends that the patient survives without signs or symptoms of cancer) was 7.7 months in patients who had achieved complete remission with or without partial hematologic recovery in the first two cycles. Overall and relapse-free survival “plateaued,” according to study authors, with three-year rates of 17.7% and 23.4%, respectively.

For those who achieved complete remission with or without partial hematologic recovery with Blincyto then underwent allogenic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation while still in complete remission, had a median overall survival of 18.1 months with a three-year survival rate of 37.2%.

“In summary, these long-term follow-up data suggest that a cure after (Blincyto) therapy is most common in patients undergoing (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) in (complete remission), although a cure is possible in some patients after (Blincyto) only, especially when (minimal residual disease) is eliminated,” the study authors concluded.

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