MONDAY, March 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the bispecific monoclonal antibody construct that enables CD3-positive T cells to recognize and eliminate CD19-positive ALL blasts, blinatumomab, is associated with significantly longer survival than chemotherapy, according to a study published in the March 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues conducted a phase 3 trial in which 405 adults with heavily pretreated B-cell precursor ALL were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to blinatumomab (271 patients) or standard-of-care chemotherapy (134 patients); 376 patients received at least one dose.
The researchers found that the blinatumomab group had significantly longer overall survival than the chemotherapy group, with median overall survival of 7.7 versus 4.0 months (hazard ratio for death with blinatumomab versus chemotherapy, 0.71). Within 12 weeks after treatment initiation, remission rates were significantly higher in the blinatumomab versus the chemotherapy group, with respect to complete remission with full hematologic recovery (34 versus 16 percent) and with respect to complete remission with full, partial, or incomplete hematologic recovery (44 versus 25 percent). Compared with chemotherapy, blinatumomab resulted in a higher rate of event-free survival (six-month estimates, 31 versus 12 percent; hazard ratio, 0.55).
“Treatment with blinatumomab resulted in significantly longer overall survival than chemotherapy among adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, which manufactures blinatumomab and funded the study.
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