2015 January 16

Josep Mª Ribera of the Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Group at the Institute has participated in a study showing that Blinatumomab is a successful treatment for patients with relapsed refractoryB-precursor ALL

Dr. Josep Mª Ribera, Head of the Haematology Clinical Unit in the Catalan Institute of Oncology I (ICO) at the Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona (Barcelona) and collaborator in several IJC projects has published the article "Safety and activity of blinatumomab for adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 study" in the Lancet 

The Lancet. Oncology. 2015 Jan;16(1):57-66. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71170-2. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

Dr Ribera's group has taken part in a worldwide clinical trial (phase II) for the evaluation of a treatment with a new drug, Blinatumomab*, in acute Precursor B-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia patients in relapse. T

The study followed 189 adults from different international centres in the study funded by Amgen.

All the patients were adults diagnosed with either refractory (resistant to conventional treatment) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) or in relapse. After two cycles of Blinatumomab, a bispecific monoclonal antibody, 43% of the patients showed a complete response (CR) or complete response with partial hematologic recovery (CRh).

The group is also taking part in a phase III study to compare Blinatumomab to the best rescue chemotherapy provided to this type of patient at the moment.  It is hoped that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will approve treatment with Blinatumomab for refractory or relapsed ALL patients. Futher studies are needed to ascertain its efficacy earlier in the treatment cyle.

Blinatumomab is a bispecific monoclonal antibody (anti-CD3 and anti-CD19) which attaches to the leukemic cell (CD19 positive) and to the T cytotoxic (CD3 positive) lymphocyte, so the T lymphocyte kills the leukemic cell directly. This study is further evidence of the high efficiency of immunotherapy in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as well as for other haematological neoplasms.