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Blincyto (blinatumomab) is a medicine for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

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What is Blincyto (blinatumomab) for?

Blinatumomab is a bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T-cell engager indicated for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)1,2,3.

How does Blincyto (blinatumomab) work?

In B-precursor ALL, certain cells that give rise to B-cells (a type of white blood cell) multiply too quickly and eventually these abnormal cells replace normal blood cells4. Blinatumomab is used when the patients are ‘Philadelphia-chromosome-negative’ (Ph-). This means that some of their genes are not re‑arranged, forming a special chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome, which is found in some patients with ALL4.

Blinatumomab is a type of antibody that has been designed to recognise and attach to two proteins: CD19, which is found on the surface of all B-cells, including ALL cells and CD3 on the surface of T-cells (cells of the immune system responsible for killing pathogens and cancer cells). Blinatumomab acts as a ‘bridge’ to bring the T-cells and the B-cells together. This activates T-cells, which release substances that eventually kill B-cells4.

Is Blincyto (blinatumomab) approved?

Blinatumomab was approved for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL) by:

  • FDA (USA) on December 3, 20145

  • EMA (EU) on 23 November 20152.

  • TGA (AUS) on November 9, 20153.

How is Blincyto (blinatumomab) taken?

The recommended therapy consists of1,2,3:

  • 4 weeks of continuous infusion per single cycle.

  • Each cycle of treatment is separated by a 2-week treatment-free interval.

  • Patients may receive 2 cycles of induction treatment followed by 3 additional cycles of Blincyto consolidation treatment.

Warning: Hospitalisation is recommended for initiation at a minimum for the first 9 days of the first cycle and the first 2 days of the second cycle.

Complete information about blinatumomab dosage and administration can be found in the resources section1,2,3.

Note: Consult your treating doctor for personalised dosing.

Are there any known adverse reactions or side effects of Blincyto (blinatumomab)?

Common adverse reactions

The most common adverse reactions (≥ 20% patients) listed in the prescribing information include:

  • pyrexia
  • headache
  • nausea
  • edema
  • hypokalemia
  • anemia
  • febrile neutropenia
  • neutropenia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • abdominal pain.

Serious adverse reactions

The serious adverse reactions listed in the prescribing information include1,2,3:

  • cytokine release syndrome (CRS)
  • neurological toxicities, which may be severe, life-threatening, or fatal
  • infections
  • pancreatitis.
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