A drug combining an antibody packaged with a potent chemotherapy agent has shown one of the highest response rates ever for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells.
The drug targets CD22, a protein found on the surface of more than 90% of ALL cases, and is the first of its kind for ALL treatment.
In the Phase II study, the drug saw response rates of more than 50%, particularly significant as patients enrolled in the trial had recurrent or resistant disease.
“The drug is safe,” says Elias Jabbour, M.D., assistant professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Leukemia and a co-investigator on the trial. “Almost all side effects were low grade and manageable. Drug-induced fever was the most common.”
Reported in June 2011 at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.