In a nutshell
This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of nilotinib as a consolidation therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia who had achieved a major response with imatinib. This study concluded that nilotinib led to safer, deeper responses in these patients.
Imatinib (Gleevec) is a tyrosine kinase inhibition (TKI) and can be used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Nilotinib (Tasigna) is a newer TKI and can be used as a consolidation therapy for CML. Consolidation therapy is used once remission is achieved to prevent relapse. It aims to kill any remaining cancer cells.
The success of cancer therapies can be evaluated by measuring the molecular response (MR). A major MR is seen as a successful outcome for patients. It is still not known how effective nilotinib would be as a consolidation therapy for patients with CML who had achieved a major MR with imatinib.
Methods & findings
This study involved 74 patients with chronic phase CML (CP-CML). All patients had previously received imatinib for an average of 69 months and had achieved a major MR. During this study, patients received 300mg nilotinib twice daily for 2 years.
After 2 years, the number of patients who achieved an MR with nilotinib treatment increased over time. The rate of MR at 12 months was 27%. The rate of MR at 24 months was 44.6%. The average time to achieve an MR with nilotinib treatment was 18.2 months.
Side effects of nilotinib treatment were reported in 56.6% of patients. The most common side effects reported were anemia (26.6%), high bilirubin (a substance produced by the liver that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes) levels (36.8%) and rash (25%).
The bottom line
This study concluded that nilotinib consolidation therapy led to safer, deeper MR in patients with CML on long-term imatinib therapy.
The fine print
This study included a small number of patients from Japan. This means that these results might not apply to all patients.
Consult your physician about consolidation therapy options.
Published By :
International journal of hematology
Apr 30, 2018