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Is Blincyto (blinatumomab) chemotherapy?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Feb 13, 2023.

Official answer


Blincyto (blinatumomab) is used to treat cancer but it is not chemotherapy.

Drugs that are used to treat cancer are called anticancer drugs. Anticancer drugs can be divided to different groups:

  • targeted therapy
  • chemotherapy (chemo)
  • hormonal drug therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Blincyto is a monoclonal antibody that is a targeted therapy anticancer drug.

How does Blincyto work?

  • Antibodies are a normal part of our immune system.
  • Our body makes antibodies to match an antigen (eg germ or protein) that enters the body.
  • Antibodies attach to the antigen to mark it so that the immune system knows to destroy it.
  • Blincyto is an antibody that has been made to attach to target antigen on the cancer cell.
  • It works by directing the part of the immune system called the T-cells to target and bind with the protein (CD19) on the surface of B-cell leukemia or lymphoma cells.

What is Blincyto used for?

It is used for a specific type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults and children if other cancer treatments have been tried without success.


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