Complete MRD responders had improved relapse-free survival versus MRD nonresponders (23.6 vs. 5.7 months; P = .002), they reported. Likewise, overall survival was improved for MRD responders (38.9 vs. 12.5 months; P = .002).
Adverse events were consistent with what was previously reported for blinatumomab and included grade 3 and 4 neurologic events in 12 patients (10%) and 3 patients (3%), respectively. Cytokine-release syndrome was seen in four patients, with grade 1 and grade 3 cases.
The study was not designed to assess the impact of HSCT, which most patients (n = 76) underwent. However, a number of patients with complete MRD response but no HSCT remained in long-term remission, confirming results of an earlier blinatumomab pilot study, according to the researchers.
“This observation might be of relevance for the development of future treatment strategies, particularly for less fit and elderly patients,” Dr. Gökbuget and her coauthors wrote.