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New Advance for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Published: 2017-08-17 |

Source: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society applauds today's approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) of inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

This year alone, it is estimated that almost 6,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with ALL. This approval is a significant step forward because it provides a new option for adult patients with ALL who have not responded to treatment, or whose cancer has come back after treatment.

The targeted therapy is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), which works by first binding an antibody to the surface of B-cell cancer cells that express the CD22 antigen. When the antibody binds to the cell, it releases a highly potent toxin inside the cell. The toxin, known as calicheamicin, binds to the DNA and then blocks tumor growth.

This is the fourth antibody drug conjugate approved for the treatment of cancer. The first one, gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg), was approved for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2000, but later removed from the market in 2010. Mylotarg is currently being reconsidered by the FDA to return to market. Other antibody drug conjugates are approved for the treatment of breast cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.

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