A New Antibody For Treating Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Of all the drugs being discussed at this year’s meeting of the American Society of Hematology, stuff one caught my attention. The new agent, a monoclonal antibody to CD22 with a toxin attached, is manufactured by Pfizer. It’s called inotuzumab ozogamicin. As that’s a mouthful, some doctors call it Ino.

Last summer the NEJM published favorable results of a randomized, multinational trial of inotuzumab in a few hundred adults with refractory or relapsed B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). In that INO-VATE study, inotuzumab as a single agent led to prolonged complete remissions and slightly extended overall survival, compared to standard chemotherapy. Remissions were significantly “deeper,” with minimal residual disease (< 0.01% blasts in the bone marrow) achieved in 78% patients of those in remission after receiving the experimental antibody.

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