Redirecting T cells to hematological malignancies with bispecific antibodies

Mireya Paulina Velasquez, Challice L. Bonifant, Stephen Gottschalk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


There is a need to improve outcomes for patients with recurrent and/or refractory hematological malignancies. Immunotherapy holds the promise to meet this need, because it does not rely on the cytotoxic mechanism of conventional therapies. Among different forms of immunotherapy, redirecting T cells to hematological malignancies with bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) is an attractive strategy. BsAbs are an "off-the-shelf" product that is easily scalable in contrast to adoptive T-cell therapies. Among these, the bispecific T-cell engager blinatumomab has emerged as the most successful BsAb to date. It consists of 2 single-chain variable fragments specific for CD19 present on B-cell malignancies and CD3 expressed on almost all T cells. Blinatumomab has shown potent antitumor activity as a single agent, particularly for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, resulting in its US Food and Drug Administration approval. However, although successful in inducing remissions, these are normally short-lived, with median response durations of <1 year. Nevertheless, the success of blinatumomab has reinvigorated the BsAb field, which is bustling with preclinical and clinical studies for not only B-cell-derived lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma but also acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma. Here, we will review the successes and challenges of T-cell-targeted BsAbs for the immunotherapy of hematological malignancies with special focus on conducted clinical studies and strategies to improve their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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