The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, together with the Catalan Oncology Institute takes part in a study that has lead to the approval of a new drug as a rescue treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Dr. Josep Mª Ribera is a haematologist, specialised in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in adults (LLA) and head of the Haematology Clinical Unit in the Catalan Oncology Institute (ICO), within the Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona (Barcelona). Very recently, he has taken part as a researcher for the ICO and the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Institute in a worldwide clinical trial (phase II) for the evaluation of a treatment with a new drug, Blinatumomab*, in acute Precursor B-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia patients in relapse. Thanks to the results of this study, recently published in Lancet Oncology, in which 189 ill adults from different international centres have taken part, the American Drug agency (FDA) approved its standard use a few weeks ago.
The patients who can be subject to this treatment are adults diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (LAL) either refractory (resistant to conventional treatment) or in relapse. The administration of Blinatumomab, a bispecific monoclonal antibody, has shown a complete response rate in 43% of the patients.