Howard J. Weinstein, MD
Commenting on the Children’s Oncology Group AALL1331 study, Howard J. Weinstein, MD, Chief of Pediatric HematologyOncology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said: “These are very promising results for children, adolescents, and young adults who have had a first relapse of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are in an intermediate- or high-risk group.”
He continued, “The most notable findings are the higher rates of [minimal residual disease] response and the rate of patients successfully proceeding from the experimental arm with blinatumomab to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation compared to the intensive chemotherapy arm. The experimental arm also resulted in fewer and less severe toxicities and improved disease-free and overall survival. The results of this clinical trial will immediately impact how pediatric oncologists treat children, adolescents, and young adults who have had a first relapse of B-cell ALL.”
Robert A. Brodsky, MD
ASH Secretary Robert A. Brodsky, MD, of Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, also commented on the study, saying:
“Blinatumomab improves survival in B-cell ALL and is a new standard of care for high- and intermediate-risk children, adolescents, and young adult patients with B-cell ALL who are scheduled for bone marrow transplant. The big problem in B-cell ALL is that when patients relapse, it is difficult to get them into remission. This study shows that with blinatumomab, patients have a better chance of going on to transplantation, and transplantation is their best chance of a cure.”
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Weinstein reported no conflicts of interest. Dr. Brodsky has served in a consulting or advisory role for Alexion and has received research funding from Achillion.
Among children, adolescents, and young adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the bispecific T-cell engager blinatumomab improved event-free survival and overall survival, compared with standard chemotherapy, as post-reinduction consolidation therapy at first relapse prior to...