The Role of Iodine-131 Apamistamab for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Iodine-131 Apamistamab (131I-BC8, Iomab-B™) represents a promising advance in the treatment of various blood cancers, including Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), by specifically targeting CD45, a common antigen on haematopoietic cells. This radioimmunotherapy has shown efficacy in over 250 patients through Phase I and II trials, particularly as a myeloablative agent in preparation for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The SIERRA trial focuses on its application in elderly, relapsed, or refractory AML patients, a group currently lacking approved standard treatments. With its targeted mechanism and potential for broader application, Iodine-131 Apamistamab could significantly impact the cancer treatment landscape.

Introduction to Iodine-131 Apamistamab

Iodine-131 Apamistamab, known commercially as Iomab-B™, is an innovative anti-CD45 radioimmunotherapy designed for the treatment of blood cancers. Its specific focus is on AML. CD45 is an antigen universally found on the surface of haematopoietic cells but is absent from other tissues, making it an ideal target for selective cancer therapy. The initial clinical trials for 131I-BC8 explored its use in patients with AML, myelodysplastic syndrome, and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CML), demonstrating significant potential as a myeloablative agent in preparation for stem cell transplantation.

Clinical Trials and Efficacy

Promising outcomes have marked the journey of Iodine-131 Apamistamab through clinical trials. Used in more than 250 patients with incurable blood cancers, its use as a myelo-conditioning and myeloablative agent has been successful, leading to effective cures in individuals with no other treatment options. The drug’s ability to selectively target CD45+ haematopoietic cells while sparing other tissues has been a key factor in its effectiveness. Moreover, ongoing trials, including the SIERRA study, are expanding its application to older patients with relapsed or refractory AML, a demographic notably challenging to treat due to the lack of approved therapeutic options.

The SIERRA Trial

The SIERRA trial (Study of Iomab-B in Elderly Relapsed or Refractory AML) is a pivotal clinical study aimed at assessing the efficacy of Iodine-131 Apamistamab in conditioning older AML patients for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This trial is significant as it targets a patient population with limited treatment avenues, potentially establishing Iodine-131 Apamistamab as a standard pre-transplantation therapy. The absence of a current standard of care for these patients underscores the importance of this trial and the potential of Iodine-131 Apamistamab to fill a critical gap in cancer treatment.

Target Mechanism and Potential Implications

Iodine-131 Apamistamab targets CD45, a protein expressed on all haematopoietic cells, through the carrier ligand Apamistamab, delivering radiation in the form of beta electrons. This targeted approach allows for the selective destruction of cancerous cells in the bone marrow, making it an effective preparatory treatment before stem cell transplantation. The specificity of Iodine-131 Apamistamab minimises damage to non-haematopoietic tissues and enhances the potential for successful transplantation and recovery. Its application could extend to other blood cancers, such as Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, broadening its impact beyond AML.


Iodine-131 Apamistamab stands out as a significant advancement in the field of cancer therapy, particularly for blood cancers that target the CD45 antigen. Its success in clinical trials as a myeloablative agent for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation preparation opens new avenues for treating patients with few to no other options. The ongoing SIERRA trial further highlights its potential role in addressing the unmet needs of elderly, relapsed, or refractory AML patients. As research progresses, Iodine-131 Apamistamab could redefine the standard of care for a wide range of blood cancers, marking a pivotal step forward in targeted cancer therapy.

You are here: home » Iodine-131 Apamistamab
Scroll to Top