Real-world treatment patterns of novel drugs in relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients in Japan

Future Oncol. 2023 Jun;19(19):1343-1356. doi: 10.2217/fon-2022-1314. Epub 2023 May 22.


Aim: To evaluate treatment patterns of novel therapies (inotuzumab ozogamicin (inotuzumab), blinatumomab, and tisagenlecleucel) in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a Japanese real-world setting. Patients & Methods: Patients with ALL diagnoses from a Japanese claims database were examined. Results: We included 194 patients (97 patients were prescribed inotuzumab; 97 patients were prescribed blinatumomab; and no patient was prescribed tisagenlecleucel); 81.4% in the inotuzumab group and 78.4% in the blinatumomab group were prescribed chemotherapy prior to the initiation of those drugs. Most patients were prescribed subsequent treatment (60.8 and 58.8%, respectively). A small number of patients were prescribed sequential treatment of inotuzumab-to-blinatumomab or blinatumomab-to-inotuzumab (20.3 and 10.5%, respectively). Conclusion: This study revealed inotuzumab and blinatumomab treatment features in Japan.

Keywords: Japanese claims data; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; blinatumomab; database study; inotuzumab; minimal residual disease; prescription pattern; real-world; relapsed or refractory; subsequent therapy.

Plain language summary

In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the increase in leukemic cells prevents the production of normal blood cells. As a result, people with ALL become more susceptible to anemia, fatigue, infections, fever, bruising and bleeding easily. ALL progresses rapidly without treatment. In recent years, new therapeutic drugs, including inotuzumab and blinatumomab, have become available; however, it remains unclear how they have been used in clinical practice. In this report, we assess how they are used in clinical practice using a large database to collect the clinical data of ALL patients. To see the treatment pattern, we found that most of the patients (81.4% of patients who received inotuzumab and 78.4% of those who received blinatumomab) had received chemotherapy before starting treatment with inotuzumab or blinatumomab. After patients ended treatment with inotuzumab or blinatumomab, 60.8% of patients who received inotuzumab and 58.8% of those who received blinatumomab received the next therapies, including chemotherapy. However, a small number of patients had received inotuzumab-to-blinatumomab or blinatumomab-to-inotuzumab (20.3 and 10.5%, respectively). These findings show the real-world treatment patterns of inotuzumab and blinatumomab; that is, both inotuzumab and blinatumomab are more likely to be prescribed to patients who might not have enough efficacy from prior chemotherapy or might have had to stop chemotherapy early due to side effects. Overall, there is clinical meaningful information from our findings of how inotuzumab and blinatumomab have been used for treatment of ALL and this information could improve the clinical practice of ALL in Japan.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Inotuzumab Ozogamicin / therapeutic use
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma* / drug therapy
  • Remission Induction


  • Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
  • Antibodies, Bispecific

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