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      Blinatumomab versus Chemotherapy for Advanced Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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          Abstract

          Background Blinatumomab, a bispecific monoclonal antibody construct that enables CD3-positive T cells to recognize and eliminate CD19-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) blasts, was approved for use in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL on the basis of single-group trials that showed efficacy and manageable toxic effects. Methods In this multi-institutional phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned adults with heavily pretreated B-cell precursor ALL, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive either blinatumomab or standard-of-care chemotherapy. The primary end point was overall survival. Results Of the 405 patients who were randomly assigned to receive blinatumomab (271 patients) or chemotherapy (134 patients), 376 patients received at least one dose. Overall survival was significantly longer in the blinatumomab group than in the chemotherapy group. The median overall survival was 7.7 months in the blinatumomab group and 4.0 months in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for death with blinatumomab vs. chemotherapy, 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.93; P=0.01). Remission rates within 12 weeks after treatment initiation were significantly higher in the blinatumomab group than in the chemotherapy group, both with respect to complete remission with full hematologic recovery (34% vs. 16%, P<0.001) and with respect to complete remission with full, partial, or incomplete hematologic recovery (44% vs. 25%, P<0.001). Treatment with blinatumomab resulted in a higher rate of event-free survival than that with chemotherapy (6-month estimates, 31% vs. 12%; hazard ratio for an event of relapse after achieving a complete remission with full, partial, or incomplete hematologic recovery, or death, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.71; P<0.001), as well as a longer median duration of remission (7.3 vs. 4.6 months). A total of 24% of the patients in each treatment group underwent allogeneic stem-cell transplantation. Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 87% of the patients in the blinatumomab group and in 92% of the patients in the chemotherapy group. Conclusions Treatment with blinatumomab resulted in significantly longer overall survival than chemotherapy among adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. (Funded by Amgen; TOWER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02013167 .).

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          Most cited references 38

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          Chimeric antigen receptor T cells for sustained remissions in leukemia.

          Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is difficult to treat despite the availability of aggressive therapies. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells targeting CD19 may overcome many limitations of conventional therapies and induce remission in patients with refractory disease. We infused autologous T cells transduced with a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CTL019) lentiviral vector in patients with relapsed or refractory ALL at doses of 0.76×10(6) to 20.6×10(6) CTL019 cells per kilogram of body weight. Patients were monitored for a response, toxic effects, and the expansion and persistence of circulating CTL019 T cells. A total of 30 children and adults received CTL019. Complete remission was achieved in 27 patients (90%), including 2 patients with blinatumomab-refractory disease and 15 who had undergone stem-cell transplantation. CTL019 cells proliferated in vivo and were detectable in the blood, bone marrow, and cerebrospinal fluid of patients who had a response. Sustained remission was achieved with a 6-month event-free survival rate of 67% (95% confidence interval [CI], 51 to 88) and an overall survival rate of 78% (95% CI, 65 to 95). At 6 months, the probability that a patient would have persistence of CTL019 was 68% (95% CI, 50 to 92) and the probability that a patient would have relapse-free B-cell aplasia was 73% (95% CI, 57 to 94). All the patients had the cytokine-release syndrome. Severe cytokine-release syndrome, which developed in 27% of the patients, was associated with a higher disease burden before infusion and was effectively treated with the anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T-cell therapy against CD19 was effective in treating relapsed and refractory ALL. CTL019 was associated with a high remission rate, even among patients for whom stem-cell transplantation had failed, and durable remissions up to 24 months were observed. (Funded by Novartis and others; CART19 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01626495 and NCT01029366.).
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            T cells expressing CD19 chimeric antigen receptors for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children and young adults: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial.

            Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells targeting CD19 have shown activity in case series of patients with acute and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and B-cell lymphomas, but feasibility, toxicity, and response rates of consecutively enrolled patients treated with a consistent regimen and assessed on an intention-to-treat basis have not been reported. We aimed to define feasibility, toxicity, maximum tolerated dose, response rate, and biological correlates of response in children and young adults with refractory B-cell malignancies treated with CD19-CAR T cells.
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              Efficacy and toxicity management of 19-28z CAR T cell therapy in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

              We report on 16 patients with relapsed or refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that we treated with autologous T cells expressing the 19-28z chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) specific to the CD19 antigen. The overall complete response rate was 88%, which allowed us to transition most of these patients to a standard-of-care allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT). This therapy was as effective in high-risk patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) disease as in those with relapsed disease after previous allo-SCT. Through systematic analysis of clinical data and serum cytokine levels over the first 21 days after T cell infusion, we have defined diagnostic criteria for a severe cytokine release syndrome (sCRS), with the goal of better identifying the subset of patients who will likely require therapeutic intervention with corticosteroids or interleukin-6 receptor blockade to curb the sCRS. Additionally, we found that serum C-reactive protein, a readily available laboratory study, can serve as a reliable indicator for the severity of the CRS. Together, our data provide strong support for conducting a multicenter phase 2 study to further evaluate 19-28z CAR T cells in B-ALL and a road map for patient management at centers now contemplating the use of CAR T cell therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                March 02 2017
                March 02 2017
                : 376
                : 9
                : 836-847
                10.1056/NEJMoa1609783
                28249141
                © 2017
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