Children with B cell malignancies refractory to standard therapy are known to have a poor prognosis and very limited treatment options. Here, we report on the treatment and follow-up of ten patients diagnosed with relapsed or refractory mature B-cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (B-NHL), Burkitt leukaemia (B-AL) or pre B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (pre B-ALL). All children were treated with FBTA05 (now designated Lymphomun), an anti-CD3 x anti-CD20 trifunctional bispecific antibody (trAb) in compassionate use. Within individual treatment schedules, Lymphomun was applied (a) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT, n = 6) to induce sustained long-term remission, or (b) stand alone prior to subsequent chemotherapy to eradicate residual disease before allo-SCT (n = 4). Nine of ten children displayed a clinical response: three stable diseases (SD), one partial remission (PR) and five induced or sustained complete remissions (CR). Five of these nine responders died during follow-up. The other patients still maintain CR with a current overall survival of 874-1424 days (median: 1150 days). In conclusion, despite the dismal clinical prognosis of children refractory to standard therapy, immunotherapy with Lymphomun resulted in a favourable clinical outcome in this cohort of refractory paediatric patients.
Keywords: B-cell malignancies; anti-CD20 x anti-CD3; bispecific antibody; children; immunotherapy.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.