In a nutshell
This study looked at the effect of stopping tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Researchers found that stopping TKI therapy was safe in these patients under certain conditions.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the immune system. It is linked with abnormal genes. This can lead to abnormal blood cells. It is often treated with TKI therapy such as bosutinib (Bosulif), dasatinib (Sprycel), nilotinib (Tasigna), and ponatinib (Iclusig). These drugs work by blocking certain proteins on cancer cells. However, patients are often on these treatments for a long time. It is not known if stopping treatment after response, is safe in patients with CML.
Methods & findings
100 patients with CML who stopped their TKI treatment after response were reviewed. These patients were followed-up for an average of 30 months after stopping treatment.
At follow-up, 35% of patients had signs of cancer in the blood after this follow-up. 17% of patients had levels of abnormal genes in their blood after treatment. 29% of patients who had no signs of cancer in their blood 2 years after stopping treatment, had a return of signs of cancer in the blood. This also occurred for 7% of patients who had no signs of cancer for 6 years after stopping treatment.
Overall, 30% of patients who stopped TKI treatment were re-treated. 93% of these patients responded to re-treatment after an average of 5 months.
The bottom line
The study concluded that stopping TKI treatment in patients with CML was safe in patients who responded well to treatment.
The fine print
This was a study of a small sample size looking at old data. This may affect the study's results.
Published By :
Journal of hematology & oncology
Jan 03, 2019