Ph 3 Trial of Blinatumomab vs Investigator's Choice of Chemotherapy in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory ALL


About this study

This study seeks adult subjects with Relapsed/Refractory (R/R) B-precursor ALL. This is a phase 3 randomized, open label study designed to evaluate the efficacy of blinatumomab versus investigator choice of SOC chemotherapy. Adult subjects with R/R B-precursor ALL will be randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive blinatumomab or treatment with investigator choice of 1 of 4 protocol defined SOC chemotherapy regimens. Primary Endpoint is Overall Survival.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Subjects with Philadelphia negative B-precursor ALL, with any of the following:

  • refractory to primary induction therapy or refractory to salvage therapy,
  • in untreated first relapse with first remission duration <12 months
  • in untreated second or greater relapse
  • or relapse at any time after allogeneic HSCT
    • Subject has received intensive combination chemotherapy for the treatment of ALL for initial treatment or subsequent salvage therapy.
    • Greater than 5% blasts in the bone marrow
    • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤ 2
    • Age ≥ 18 years at the time of informed consent
    • Subject has provided informed consent or subject's legally acceptable representative has provided informed consent when the subject has any kind of condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, may compromise the ability of the subject to give written informed consent.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Mark Litzow, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office


More information


  • The relationship between blinatumomab exposure and efficacy endpoints (occurrence of complete remission [CR] and duration of overall survival [OS]) or adverse events (occurrence of cytokine release syndrome [CRS] and neurological events) were investigated in adult patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (r/r ALL) receiving blinatumomab or standard of care (SOC) chemotherapy to evaluate appropriateness of the blinatumomab dosing regimen. Read More on PubMed
  • Outcomes for adults with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are poor with chemotherapy, particularly in later salvage. The TOWER study examined survival, remission, bridge to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and safety with blinatumomab versus chemotherapy. This report examined outcomes separately for study treatment as first or later salvage. Adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative B-cell precursor ALL relapsed/refractory to chemotherapy were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive blinatumomab by continuous infusion for 4 weeks in 6-week cycles, or standard salvage chemotherapy. Overall survival for blinatumomab versus chemotherapy was higher both in first salvage and in later salvage. Safety was similar between patients in first salvage and those in later salvage. Blinatumomab as later salvage was associated with higher complete remission rates and served as a bridge to allogeneic HSCT, supporting the use of blinatumomab in both settings. This study is registered at as #NCT02013167. Read More on PubMed
  • In the phase 3 TOWER study, blinatumomab significantly improved overall survival in adults with relapsed or refractory (R/R) Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph) B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) relative to standard-of-care chemotherapy. A secondary objective of this study was to assess the impact of blinatumomab on health-related quality of life (HRQL) as measured by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30). This analysis included the 342 of 405 randomized patients for whom baseline and ≥1 postbaseline result were available in any EORTC multi-item scale or single-item measure. In general, patients receiving blinatumomab (n = 247) reported better posttreatment HRQL across all QLQ-C30 subscales, based on descriptive mean change from baseline, than did those receiving chemotherapy (n = 95). The hazard ratios for time to deterioration (TTD) of ≥10 points from baseline in HRQL or death ranged from 0.42 to 0.81 in favor of blinatumomab, with the upper bounds of the 95% confidence interval <1.0 across all measures, except insomnia, social functioning, and financial difficulties; sensitivity analysis of TTD in HRQL without the event of death were consistent with these findings. When treatment effect over time was tested using a restricted maximum likelihood-based mixed model for repeated measures analysis, < .05 was reached for blinatumomab vs chemotherapy for all subscale measures except financial difficulties. The clinically meaningful benefits in overall survival and HRQL support the clinical value of blinatumomab in patients with R/R Ph BCP-ALL when compared with chemotherapy. This trial was registered at as #NCT02013167. Read More on PubMed
  • In the phase 3 TOWER study, blinatumomab demonstrated an overall survival benefit over standard-of-care chemotherapy (SOC) in adults with relapsed or refractory (r/r) Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph) B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Nearly all patients in both treatment arms experienced an adverse event (AE), and the incidence rate of serious AEs was higher for blinatumomab. However, as treatment exposure differed between the 2 arms, we conducted an exploratory safety analysis comparing exposure-adjusted event rates (EAERs) of blinatumomab vs SOC. Analyses were conducted for all patients who received therapy (safety population). Patients received a median (range) of 2 cycles (1-9) of blinatumomab (N = 267) vs 1 cycle (1-4) of SOC (N = 109). Grade ≥3 AE rates were generally higher in cycle 1 of blinatumomab than in cycle 2 (76% vs 37%). After adjusting for time on treatment, EAERs of grade ≥3 were significantly lower for blinatumomab vs SOC overall (10.73 vs 45.27 events per patient-year; < .001) and for events of clinical interest, including infections (1.63 vs 6.49 events per patient-year; < .001), cytopenias (3.64 vs 20.07 events per patient-year; < .001), and neurologic events (0.38 vs 0.95 events per patient-year; = .008). The EAER of grade ≥3 cytokine-release syndrome was higher for blinatumomab than for SOC (0.16 vs 0 events per patient-year; = .038). These data further support the role of blinatumomab as an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with r/r Ph ALL. This trial was registered at as #NCT02013167. Read More on PubMed
  • To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of blinatumomab (Blincyto) vs standard of care (SOC) chemotherapy in adults with relapsed or refractory (R/R) Philadelphia-chromosome-negative (Ph-) B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) based on the results of the phase 3 TOWER study from a US healthcare payer perspective. Read More on PubMed
  • Blinatumomab, a bispecific monoclonal antibody construct that enables CD3-positive T cells to recognize and eliminate CD19-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) blasts, was approved for use in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL on the basis of single-group trials that showed efficacy and manageable toxic effects. Read More on PubMed

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