Bispecific antibodies in acute lymphoblastic leukemia therapy
Expert Rev Hematol
Introduction: Blinatumomab, first in a class of bispecific T-cell engagers, revolutionized treatment paradigm of B-cell precursor relapsed/refractory or minimal residual disease positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and children, inducing deep remissions in a proportion of patients. However, significant numbers of patients do not respond or eventually relapse. Strategies for improvement of treatment outcomes are required.
Areas covered: This review discusses the main structural and functional features of blinatumomab, and its place in the treatment of ALL. Furthermore, prospects to increase the efficacy of blinatumomab are addressed. The developments in the field of bispecific antibodies and their possible implications for treatment of ALL are reviewed.
Expert opinion: Better understanding the mechanisms of response and resistance to blinatumomab might help us to identify the group of patients benefiting most from treatment and to spare potentially toxic subsequent treatment strategies. Data emerging from ongoing clinical trials might change the treatment landscape of ALL and beyond. Early use of blinatumomab in frontline protocols with more advantageous treatment sequences and in combination with other targeted therapies might reduce the failure rates. Exponentially increasing number of novel treatment options and their possible combinations might complicate treatment decision-making without data from randomized trials.