Blinatumomab granted full approval to treat rel/ref BCP-ALL



Vials of blinatumomab
powder and solution
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for blinatumomab (Blincyto®). The aim of the sBLA was to expand the indication for blinatumomab to include all patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic... [Read Article]

ODAC recommends approval of CTL019 in rel/ref ALL



CTL019 preparation
Photo from Penn Medicine
The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) has unanimously recommended approval for the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel). The committee voted 10 to 0 in favor of approving CTL019 for the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients... [Read Article]

EC approves therapy for relapsed/refractory BCP-ALL



BCP-ALL
The European Commission (EC) has approved inotuzumab ozogamicin (BESPONSA®) as monotherapy for adults with relapsed or refractory, CD22-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). Adults with Philadelphia chromosome-positive, relapsed/refractory, CD22-positive BCP-ALL should have failed treatment with at least one tyrosine kinase inhibitor before receiving inotuzumab ozogamicin. Inotuzumab ozogamicin is an antibody-drug conjugate... [Read Article]

CSF p-Tau predicts neurocognitive sequelae in survivors of childhood cancer



Neuropsychology exam
Photo courtesy of
Columbia University
A small retrospective study of survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has found that phosphorylated Tau (p-Tau) in patients’ cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a predictor of late neurocognitive consequences. Investigators compared intellectual performance, memory, and executive functioning between survivors and control subjects and... [Read Article]

Neurotoxicity needs separate treatment from CRS in CAR T-cell therapy



Attendees during Plenary Session at ASCO Annual Meeting 2017
Photo © ASCO/Todd Buchanan 2017
The neurotoxicity in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-ALL) treated with CD19 CAR T cells is a separate process from cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and needs to be treated separately, according to a new study... [Read Article]

Pembrolizumab enhances CAR T-cell persistence in relapsed ALL



McCormick Place during
ASCO 2017 Annual Meeting
Photo © ASCO/Danny Morton 2017
Three of 6 pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells did not persist even after reinfusion demonstrated persistence when the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab was added to the regimen. CAR T... [Read Article]

CAR T cells elicit durable, potent responses in kids with EM relapse of ALL



CTL019 preparation
Photo from Penn Medicine
Outcomes for pediatric patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are dismal, with the probability of event-free survival ranging from 15% to 70% after a first relapse to 15% to 20% after a second relapse. “So novel therapies are obviously urgently needed,” Mala Kiran Talekar, MD, of the... [Read Article]

Differences emerge in new guidelines for managing FN in kids



Doctor evaluating patient
Photo courtesy of the CDC
A multidisciplinary, international panel of experts has updated earlier clinical practice guidelines on managing fever and neutropenia (FN) in children with cancer and in those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). And while most of the recommendations remained unchanged from the 2012 guidelines, a few key... [Read Article]