Blinatumomab maintenance after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blood. 2022 Mar 24;139(12):1908-1919. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021013290.


Patients with B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at high-risk for relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We conducted a single-center phase 2 study evaluating the feasibility of 4 cycles of blinatumomab administered every 3 months during the first year after HCT in an effort to mitigate relapse in high-risk ALL patients. Twenty-one of 23 enrolled patients received at least 1 cycle of blinatumomab and were included in the analysis. The median time from HCT to the first cycle of blinatumomab was 78 days (range, 44 to 105). Twelve patients (57%) completed all 4 treatment cycles. Neutropenia was the only grade 4 adverse event (19%). Rates of cytokine release (5% G1) and neurotoxicity (5% G2) were minimal. The cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grades 2 to 4 and 3 to 4 were 33% and 5%, respectively; 2 cases of mild (10%) and 1 case of moderate (5%) chronic GVHD were noted. With a median follow-up of 14.3 months, the 1-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) rates were 85%, 71%, and 0%, respectively. In a matched analysis with a contemporary cohort of 57 patients, we found no significant difference between groups regarding blinatumomab's efficacy. Correlative studies of baseline and posttreatment samples identified patients with specific T-cell profiles as "responders" or "nonresponders" to therapy. Responders had higher proportions of effector memory CD8 T-cell subsets. Nonresponders were T-cell deficient and expressed more inhibitory checkpoint molecules, including T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM3). We found that blinatumomab postallogeneic HCT is feasible, and its benefit is dependent on the immune milieu at time of treatment. This paper is posted on, study ID: NCT02807883.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Graft vs Host Disease*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma* / therapy
  • Recurrence


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • blinatumomab

Associated data