Dr. Jabbour Discusses Recent Advancements in ALL

Elias Jabbour, MD
Published: Thursday, Aug 23, 2018



Elias Jabbour, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses recent advances in the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

There have been many developments in ALL over the last year, says Jabbour. In pediatric ALL, the cure rate is currently 80% to 90%, while the cure rate in adult patients is about 50%. Clinicians are now able to personalize frontline therapies, Jabbour says, such as combining tyrosine kinase inhibitors with chemotherapy. The addition of monoclonal antibodies like rituximab (Rituxan) to chemotherapy has also shown an improvement in survival for these patients, Jabbour adds.

In March 2018, the FDA granted an accelerated approval to blinatumomab (Blincyto) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with B-cell precursor ALL who are in remission but still have minimal residual disease (MRD). The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee based this recommendation off findings from the phase II BLAST study, in which blinatumomab induced a nearly 80% complete MRD response rate in this patient population.


Elias Jabbour, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses recent advances in the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

There have been many developments in ALL over the last year, says Jabbour. In pediatric ALL, the cure rate is currently 80% to 90%, while the cure rate in adult patients is about 50%. Clinicians are now able to personalize frontline therapies, Jabbour says, such as combining tyrosine kinase inhibitors with chemotherapy. The addition of monoclonal antibodies like rituximab (Rituxan) to chemotherapy has also shown an improvement in survival for these patients, Jabbour adds.

In March 2018, the FDA granted an accelerated approval to blinatumomab (Blincyto) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with B-cell precursor ALL who are in remission but still have minimal residual disease (MRD). The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee based this recommendation off findings from the phase II BLAST study, in which blinatumomab induced a nearly 80% complete MRD response rate in this patient population.



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