Leukemia drug proves safe and effective over the long term

November 07, 2007

(WASHINGTON, November 7, 2007) - The drug imatinib mesylate, more commonly known as Gleevec®, proves safe and effective over the long term in patients with an advanced form of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), according to a study prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

A team of researchers from the U.S. and Europe, including the drug's creator, Brian Druker, MD, followed 454 patients with chronic-phase CML taking imatinib for more than six years. Prior to enrollment, all study participants had experienced either treatment failure or intolerance with interferon alpha, which was the standard of care for CML at the time the study was initiated.

"The long-term follow-up results of imatinib in CML post interferon failure reassure us of the high efficacy of the drug and its safety," stated Hagop Kantarjian, MD, the lead author on the study and Chairman and Professor of the Leukemia Department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "With a six-year follow-up, the estimated six-year survival rate is 76 percent. In historical data, after interferon failure the average survival was about three to four years."

Imatinib dosage began at 400 milligrams per day and was escalated to 600 mg/d or 800 mg/d in patients who did not achieve positive treatment responses within set time periods or whose disease relapsed.

The best possible treatment outcome - a complete cytogenetic response, which is the elimination of the genetic abnormality associated with the disease - occurred in 57 percent of the study participants and was achieved in a median time of eight months. Overall survival rates and avoidance of disease progression were strongly correlated with cytogenetic response by 12 months; those with a minimal or no cytogenetic response within the first year faired poorly.

The incidence of serious side effects was low and, although 15 cases of heart dysfunction were reported in study participants, only four cases were considered to be drug-related. During the study, 35 patients discontinued the drug because of adverse events or abnormal test results.

"About half of the patients on the study continue to receive imatinib and 40 percent are in complete cytogenetic response," said Dr. Kantarjian. "No long-term new toxicities have been observed. In particular, the drug-related cardiac toxicity, which was reported to be of concern last year, was quite rare."

This clinical trial was the basis for the first approval of imatinib for CML, which has since become the standard of care for the disease.
-end-
The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology, is the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field. Blood is issued to Society members and other subscribers twice per month, available in print and online at www.bloodjournal.org.

American Society of Hematology

Related Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Articles from Brightsurf:

Young survivors of acute myeloid leukemia have long-term complications from treatment
Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a high risk of developing several long-term health complications after treatment, a study led by UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers has found.

Combination therapy improves survival outcomes for patients with acute myeloid leukemia
A combination regimen of venetoclax and azacitidine was safe and improved overall survival (OS) over azacitidine alone in certain patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to the Phase III VIALE-A trial led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

ASH releases new clinical practice guidelines on acute myeloid leukemia in older adults
Today, ASH published new guidelines to help older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their health care providers make critical care decisions, including if and how to proceed with cancer treatment and the need for blood transfusions for those in hospice care.

Huntsman Cancer Institute illuminates potential new treatment in acute myeloid leukemia
In a study published in the journal Leukemia, lead author Ami Patel, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies at the University of Utah, showed that factors produced by bone marrow support cells allowed leukemia cells to survive treatment with quizartinib, a type of TKI.

A new nanoconjugate blocks acute myeloid leukemia tumor cells without harming healthy ones
The nanoparticle targets only leukemic cells and therefore would reduce the severe adverse effects of current treatments.

Oncotarget: RSK inhibitor BI-D1870 inhibits acute myeloid leukemia cell proliferation
The cover for issue 25 of Oncotarget features Figure 8, 'BI-D1870 in combination with vincristine increase metaphase arrest and apoptosis synergistically,' by Chae, et al.

Call for caution for using a CAR-T immunotherapy against acute myeloid leukemia
Researchers from the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute prove that the preclinical implementation of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia immunotherapy, based on CD123-redirected CAR T-cells, affects hematopoiesis, blood cells production, and reconstitution.

For acute myeloid leukemia, genetic testing is often worth the wait
New tailored therapies offer exciting prospects for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but taking advantage of them may require waiting a week or more for genetic testing before starting treatment, posing a dilemma for doctors and patients facing this deadly and often fast-moving disease.

Discovery in human acute myeloid leukemia could provide novel pathway to new treatments
Researchers at Mount Sinai have discovered that human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells are dependent on a transcription factor known as RUNX1, potentially providing a new therapeutic target to achieve lasting remissions or even cures for a disease in which medical advances have been limited.

Research revises classification of acute myeloid leukemia & myelodysplastic syndrome
Findings presented as a late-breaking abstract at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting by St.

Read More: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia News and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.