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Potential for bispecific T-cell engagers: role of blinatumomab in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Authors Le Jeune C, Thomas X

Received 1 December 2015

Accepted for publication 18 January 2016

Published 18 February 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 757—765

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S83848

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wei Duan

Caroline Le Jeune, Xavier Thomas

Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hematology Department, Lyon-Sud Hospital, Pierre Bénite, France

Abstract: Patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and patients whose minimal residual disease persists during treatment have a poor leukemia-free survival. Despite improvements in front-line therapy, the outcome in these patients remains poor, especially after relapse. As there are no standard chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of patients with R/R B-precursor ALL, T-cell-based therapeutic approaches have recently come to the forefront in ALL therapy. Recently, monoclonal antibodies have been developed to target specific antigens expressed in B-lineage blast cells. In this setting, CD19 is of great interest as this antigen is expressed in B-lineage cells. Therefore, it has been selected as the target antigen for blinatumomab, a new bi-specific T-cell engager antibody. This sophisticated antibody binds sites for both CD19 and CD3, leading to T-cell proliferation and activation and B-cell apoptosis. Owing to its short serum half-life, blinatumomab has been administrated by continuous intravenous infusion with a favorable safety profile. The most significant toxicities were central nervous system events and the cytokine release syndrome. This new therapeutic approach using blinatumomab has been shown to be effective in patients with positive minimal residual disease and in patients with R/R B-precursor ALL leading to a recent approval by the US Food and Drug Administration after an accelerated review process. This review focuses on the profile of blinatumomab and its efficacy and safety.

Keywords: B-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia, relapsed/refractory, minimal residual disease, BiTE monoclonal antibodies, blinatumomab

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