In a nutshell
The study evaluated if the molecular response to Imatinib (Gleevec) is a proper way to judge treatment progress in Iranian patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML). The main finding was that survival was improved in patients who had a better molecular response to imatinib.
Patients with CP-CML can be effectively treated with imatinib. Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor which prevents the cancer cells from growing. However, some patients fail to respond to this drug. The way a patient’s cancer cells respond to this drug can be analyzed at a molecular level.
Several international studies showed that physicians can decide treatments by monitoring patients’ molecular response to imatinib. Although it is unclear whether the same method applies to Iranian patients with newly diagnosed CP-CML.
Methods & findings
255 adult Iranian patients with newly diagnosed CP-CML were included in this study. All of them received 400 mg of imatinib mesylate daily. Molecular response to the drug was determined in BCR-ABLIS scale at 3 and 6 months from the start of treatment and then every 6 months. Lower percentages of BCR-ABLIS (10% or lower) are considered as an optimal response. Major molecular response (MMR) is achieved when BCR-ABLIS level is lower than 0.1%. Patients were followed-up for 34.8 months on average.
Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) at 7 years were estimated to be 94.3% and 92.9%. PFS indicates how long patients survive without leukemia’s progression. OS and PFS rates at 3 and 6 months after therapy were higher in patients with optimal response compared to patients with higher BCR-ABLIS values.
The proportion of patients achieving MMR at 12 months was 44.1%. MMR at 18 months was achieved by 52.97% and at 24 months by 60.75%. PFS rates were also higher in patients who achieved MMR in the long-term, compared to patients who did not.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that molecular response to imatinib can indicate treatment progress in Iranian patients with newly diagnosed CP-CML.
Published By :
Clinical lymphoma, myeloma & leukemia
Jan 01, 2020