Children's Oncology Group AALL1331: Phase III Trial of Blinatumomab in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Low-Risk B-Cell ALL in First Relapse

Laura E. Hogan, Patrick A. Brown, Lingyun Ji, Xinxin Xu, Meenakshi Devidas, Teena Bhatla, Michael J. Borowitz, Elizabeth A. Raetz, Andrew Carroll, Nyla A. Heerema, Gerhard Zugmaier, Elad Sharon, Melanie B. Bernhardt, Stephanie A. Terezakis, Lia Gore, James A. Whitlock, Stephen P. Hunger, Mignon L. Loh

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12 Scopus citations


PURPOSEBlinatumomab, a bispecific T-cell engager immunotherapy, is efficacious in relapsed/refractory B-cell ALL (B-ALL) and has a favorable toxicity profile. One aim of the Children's Oncology Group AALL1331 study was to compare survival of patients with low-risk (LR) first relapse of B-ALL treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus blinatumomab.PATIENTS AND METHODSAfter block 1 reinduction, patients age 1-30 years with LR first relapse of B-ALL were randomly assigned to block 2/block 3/two continuation chemotherapy cycles/maintenance (arm C) or block 2/two cycles of continuation chemotherapy intercalated with three blinatumomab blocks/maintenance (arm D). Patients with CNS leukemia received 18 Gy cranial radiation during maintenance and intensified intrathecal chemotherapy. The primary and secondary end points were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).RESULTSThe 4-year DFS/OS for the 255 LR patients accrued between December 2014 and September 2019 were 61.2% ± 5.0%/90.4% ± 3.0% for blinatumomab versus 49.5% ± 5.2%/79.6% ± 4.3% for chemotherapy (P =.089/P =.11). For bone marrow (BM) ± extramedullary (EM) (BM ± EM; n = 174) relapses, 4-year DFS/OS were 72.7% ± 5.8%/97.1% ± 2.1% for blinatumomab versus 53.7% ± 6.7%/84.8% ± 4.8% for chemotherapy (P =.015/P =.020). For isolated EM (IEM; n = 81) relapses, 4-year DFS/OS were 36.6% ± 8.2%/76.5% ± 7.5% for blinatumomab versus 38.8% ± 8.0%/68.8% ± 8.6% for chemotherapy (P =.62/P =.53). Blinatumomab was well tolerated and patients had low adverse event rates.CONCLUSIONFor children, adolescents, and young adults with B-ALL in LR first relapse, there was no statistically significant difference in DFS or OS between the blinatumomab and standard chemotherapy arms overall. However, blinatumomab significantly improved DFS and OS for the two thirds of patients with BM ± EM relapse, establishing a new standard of care for this population. By contrast, similar outcomes and poor DFS for both arms were observed in the one third of patients with IEM; new treatment approaches are needed for these patients ( identifier: NCT02101853).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4118-4129
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number25
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society of Clinical Oncology.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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