Prof Robin Foà comments on NEJM paper “Dasatinib - Blinatumomab for Ph+ ALL in Adults” 

Listen to Prof. Robin Foà commenting on the rationale and the results of a highly relevant paper published on the New England Journal of Medicineand reporting an innovative “chemo-free” approach for Ph+ ALL patients. 

Robin Foà, first author of the paperhighlights the main findings and scientific implications of a clinical trial involving 63 newly diagnosed adult patients with Philadelphia-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The trial demonstrated the high efficacy and reduced toxicity of an induction and consolidation protocol completely free from systemic chemotherapy, in a population of patients characterized by a particularly bad prognosis in the past.  

The idea at the basis of the study was the use, in adult Ph+ ALL patients, of a combination of molecular target therapy (dasatinib, 2nd generation TKI) plus immunotherapy (blnatumomab, bispecific anti-CD3/anti-CD19 monoclonal antibody). The dasatinib induction phase was followed by consolidation with blinatumomab (two cycles, incrementable up to five).  

Results of this innovative and completely “chemo-free” approach were remarkably positive, with a 96% overall rate of complete hematological remissions and 60% of molecular responses at the end of the two cycles of blinatumomab (primary endpoint of the study). The rate of molecular responses was even higher in patients receiving additional blinatumomab cycles. Eighteen months overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) were 95% and 88%, respectively. 

As stated by Prof. Foà, these results might deeply change the clinical practice in the treatment of these subgroup of adult ALL patients, introducing a therapeutic approach characterized by high efficacy, limited adverse events and reduced hospitalization.   

Read the full paper:  

Foà R, Bassan R, Vitale A, et al. Dasatinib-Blinatumomab for Ph-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults. N Engl J Med. 2020;383:1613-1623. 

Last Updated on Tuesday 16 February 2021.