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Overview

In the swiftly evolving field of immuno-oncology, T-cell redirecting bispecific antibodies (TRBAs), a type of antibody that can bind to two different antigens simultaneously, are a newly emerging platform in immunotherapy for cancer.1 To date, only the BiTE®,* (bispecific T-cell engager) molecule blinatumomab has received U.S. FDA approval for a hematological cancer.2 More than 50 bispecific antibodies are currently in clinical trials.3

Like CAR T-cells, TRBAs are engineered to specifically target tumor-associated antigens on the surface of cancer cells. However, currently approved autologous CAR T-cell therapies require taking blood from the cancer patient, processing their white cells, engineering them to attack the patient's specific cancer, and reinfusing the CAR T-cells into the patient where they grow and kill the cancer. By contrast, the bispecific antibody technology that is currently FDA-approved is “off-the-shelf” and requires no ex vivo manipulation. Thus, TRBAs may be viewed as simpler and faster to produce cellular anti-cancer immunotherapy.3,4

At present, TRBAs fall into two main groups: small, short-half-life bispecific antibodies, like the commercially available BiTE® molecule blinatumomab, and half-life extended (HLE) bispecific antibodies. Agents with a shorter half-life require continuous infusion, while HLE agents allow for less frequent infusions given their longer biologic half-life.3

Led by an expert Advisory Committee, this ACCC education program, Preparing Community Providers for Bispecific Antibodies, seeks to identify and address barriers to awareness, preparedness, adoption, and use of bispecific antibodies for the treatment of cancer by the multidisciplinary cancer care team. To launch this program, ACCC will conduct a survey of providers across different healthcare systems in the U.S. to assess the multidisciplinary cancer care team's understanding and readiness for the adoption of TRBAs in the treatment of patients with cancer.

The survey will help to:

  • Evaluate baseline understanding of emerging bispecific antibody therapies in cancer care.
  • Understand how new treatments are integrated into cancer care settings.
  • Identify any potential and ongoing barriers to adoption and patient access to these emerging therapies.

* BiTE® is a registered trademark of Amgen, Inc.

For more information, please contact Limaya Atembina, MSW, Program Manager.

References

1. 
National Cancer Institute. Bispecific antibodies. Definition of Cancer Terms. Last accessed May 20, 2020.

2. FDA granted accelerated approval to blinatumomab (Blincyto, Amgen Inc.) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. March 28, 2018.

3. Strohl WR, Naso M. Bispecific T-Cell redirection versus chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells as approaches to kill cancer cells. Antibodies (Basel). 2019;8(3):41. Published online 2019 Jul 3.

4. Helwick C. Bispecific antibodies: successes and challenges. ASCO Post. April 20, 2020.
Last accessed May 20, 2020.


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