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Blincyto is a medicine used to treat a blood cancer called B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in patients above one year of age when the cancer has come back (relapsed) or has not improved with previous treatment (refractory). It can also be used in these patients as part of ‘consolidation therapy’, to improve the remission.
furthermore Blincyto is also used in adults who have been treated for B-precursor ALL and have minimal residual disease (which means that they have some detectable cancer cells in their body).
Blincyto is used in patients who are ‘Philadelphia-chromosome-negative’
(Ph-negative) which means that the patients’ cancer cells do not have an abnormal chromosome called the.
Philadelphia chromosome, and in patients who have the protein CD19 on their cancer cells (CD19-positive).
moreover Blincyto can also be used in patients who are ‘Philadelphia-chromosome-positive’ (Ph-positive) if their
cancer has not responded to previous treatment with at least two medicines called tyrosine kinase inhibitors and they have no alternative treatment options. Blincyto contains the active substance blinatumomab.
ALL is rare, and Blincyto was designated an ‘orphan medicine’ (a medicine used in rare diseases) on 24 July 2009. Further information on the orphan designation can be found here.
how is blincyto used
Blincyto can only be obtained with a prescription, and treatment should be started by a doctor who has experience in the treatment of patients with cancers of the blood.
Blincyto is given by infusion (drip) into a vein using a pump device.
For treatment of relapsed or refractory B-precursor ALL, the dose depends on the patient’s weight. Blincyto is infused continuously during a treatment cycle of four weeks. Each cycle is separated by a two-week treatment-free interval. Patients who have no signs of cancer after two cycles may be treated with up to three additional cycles if the benefits outweigh the risks for the patient.
For treatment of patients with minimal residual disease, the dose depends on the patient’s bodyweight. Blincyto is infused continuously during a treatment cycle of four weeks. After receiving the first induction cycle patients may be treated for up to three additional treatment cycles, each one given after a two-week treatment-free interval.
Before receiving Blincyto, patients should be given medicines to prevent fever and reactions to the infusion. Patients should also be given chemotherapy medicines injected in the spine area to prevent leukaemia in the nervous system.
Treatment may be interrupted or stopped altogether in case of certain side effects.
For more information about using, see the package leaflet or contact your doctor or pharmacist.
side effects of Blincyto
The most common side effects with Blincyto (which may affect more than 1 in 10 people) are infections, fever, infusion-related reactions (like fever, changes in blood pressure and rash), headache, febrile neutropenia (low levels a type of white blood cell counts called neutrophils with fever), constipation, nausea (feeling sick), diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia (low red blood cell counts), oedema (swelling because of fluid retention), neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell), leucopenia (low levels of white blood cell), thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), blood tests showing changes in liver function, tremor (shaking), back pain, chills, low blood pressure, low levels of immunoglobulins (antibodies), cytokine release syndrome (a life-threatening condition that can cause fever, vomiting, shortness of breath, pain and low blood pressure), rapid heartbeat, insomnia (difficulty sleeping), pain in the arms and legs, abdominal (belly) pain, cough and rash.
The most serious side effects were infections, neutropenia with or without fever, neurological events (such as confusion, shaking, dizziness, numbness or tingling), cytokine release syndrome, and tumour lysis syndrome (a life-threatening complication due to the breakdown of cancer cells). For the full list of side effects of Blincyto, see the package leaflet.
Blincyto must not be given to breastfeeding women. For the full list of restrictions, see the package leaflet.