Dasatinib-Blinatumomab for Ph-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults

GIMEMA Investigators, Robin Foà, Renato Bassan, Antonella Vitale, Loredana Elia, Alfonso Piciocchi, Maria Cristina Puzzolo, Martina Canichella, Piera Viero, Felicetto Ferrara, Monia Lunghi, Francesco Fabbiano, Massimiliano Bonifacio, Nicola Fracchiolla, Paolo Di Bartolomeo, Alessandra Mancino, Maria Stefania De Propris, Marco Vignetti, Anna Guarini, Alessandro RambaldiSabina Chiaretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Outcomes in patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have improved with the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Molecular remission is a primary goal of treatment. METHODS: We conducted a phase 2 single-group trial of first-line therapy in adults with newly diagnosed Ph-positive ALL (with no upper age limit). Dasatinib plus glucocorticoids were administered, followed by two cycles of blinatumomab. The primary end point was a sustained molecular response in the bone marrow after this treatment. RESULTS: Of the 63 patients (median age, 54 years; range, 24 to 82) who were enrolled, a complete remission was observed in 98%. At the end of dasatinib induction therapy (day 85), 29% of the patients had a molecular response, and this percentage increased to 60% after two cycles of blinatumomab; the percentage of patients with a molecular response increased further after additional blinatumomab cycles. At a median follow-up of 18 months, overall survival was 95% and disease-free survival was 88%; disease-free survival was lower among patients who had an IKZF1 deletion plus additional genetic aberrations (CDKN2A or CDKN2B, PAX5, or both [i.e., IKZF1plus]). ABL1 mutations were detected in 6 patients who had increased minimal residual disease during induction therapy, and all these mutations were cleared by blinatumomab. Six relapses occurred. Overall, 21 adverse events of grade 3 or higher were recorded. A total of 24 patients received a stem-cell allograft, and 1 death was related to transplantation (4%). CONCLUSIONS: A chemotherapy-free induction and consolidation first-line treatment with dasatinib and blinatumomab that was based on a targeted and immunotherapeutic strategy was associated with high incidences of molecular response and survival and few toxic effects of grade 3 or higher in adults with Ph-positive ALL. (Funded by Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro and others; GIMEMA LAL2116 D-ALBA EudraCT number, 2016-001083-11; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02744768.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1623
Number of pages11
JournalThe New England journal of medicine
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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