Blinatumomab for minimal residual disease in adults with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blood. 2018 Apr 5;131(14):1522-1531. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-08-798322. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


Approximately 30% to 50% of adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in hematologic complete remission after multiagent therapy exhibit minimal residual disease (MRD) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or flow cytometry. MRD is the strongest predictor of relapse in ALL. In this open-label, single-arm study, adults with B-cell precursor ALL in hematologic complete remission with MRD (≥10-3) received blinatumomab 15 µg/m2 per day by continuous IV infusion for up to 4 cycles. Patients could undergo allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation any time after cycle 1. The primary end point was complete MRD response status after 1 cycle of blinatumomab. One hundred sixteen patients received blinatumomab. Eighty-eight (78%) of 113 evaluable patients achieved a complete MRD response. In the subgroup of 110 patients with Ph-negative ALL in hematologic remission, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of relapse-free survival (RFS) at 18 months was 54%. Median overall survival (OS) was 36.5 months. In landmark analyses, complete MRD responders had longer RFS (23.6 vs 5.7 months; P = .002) and OS (38.9 vs 12.5 months; P = .002) compared with MRD nonresponders. Adverse events were consistent with previous studies of blinatumomab. Twelve (10%) and 3 patients (3%) had grade 3 or 4 neurologic events, respectively. Four patients (3%) had cytokine release syndrome grade 1, n = 2; grade 3, n = 2), all during cycle 1. After treatment with blinatumomab in a population of patients with MRD-positive B-cell precursor ALL, a majority achieved a complete MRD response, which was associated with significantly longer RFS and OS compared with MRD nonresponders. This study is registered at as #NCT01207388.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / blood
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality*
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Rate


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • blinatumomab

Associated data