Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. These white blood cells are important to your immune system because they play a role in helping your body fight infection and disease. But when you have ALL, the bone marrow makes too many of these white blood cells and they do not work properly.1,2
ALL that returns after a period of improvement is called a relapse. If the disease did not respond to chemotherapy, it is known as refractory. Finding out either of these can be overwhelming. You may wonder what’s next, so let’s take a look at the options.1
The goals for treating relapsed or refractory ALL are:
Eliminate as much ALL as possible
Get you to remission. This is when the signs and symptoms of ALL decrease or disappear1
Help you live longer
There are several treatment options for people with relapsed or refractory B-cell ALL. Your doctor may be considering one of these for you.
Chemotherapy1 A treatment that uses drugs to stop the replication of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It is often called “chemo.” You may have already been treated with chemo.
Targeted therapies1 Treatment that identifies and attacks certain types of cancer cells with less harm to normal cells. Some block specific actions of cancer cells, while others help the immune system kill cancer cells.
Immunotherapy1 A type of medicine that uses your body’s own immune system to help fight conditions such as cancer.
CAR, chimeric antigen receptor.
What is the most important information I should know about BLINCYTO®?
Who should not receive BLINCYTO®?
What should I avoid while receiving BLINCYTO®?
Before receiving BLINCYTO®, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you or your child:
BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) is a prescription medication used to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and children. ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow in which a particular kind of white blood cell is replicating out of control.
References: 1. National Cancer Institute. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms. Accessed October 9, 2019. 2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-all. Accessed October 9, 2019. 3. BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) prescribing information, Amgen. 4. Hay KA, Turtle CJ. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells: lessons learned from targeting of CD19 in B cell malignancies. Drugs. 2017;77:1-9. doi:10.1007/s40265-017-0690-8.