In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate if side effects of imatinib (Gleevec) treatment in chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia would improve if patients were switched to dasatinib (Sprycel) treatment.
This study concluded that these patients experience improvements in side effects and quality of life once they switch treatment.
Imatinib is a suitable treatment for patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML). However, many patients experience side effects that can impact quality of life and ability to continue treatment. Dasatinib is a treatment that can be used for CP-CML patients who are intolerant to imatinib.
It was unknown if switching CP-CML patients from imatinib to dasatinib would improve side effects.
Methods & findings
This study involved 39 patients with CP-CML who had received imatinib treatment. These patients experienced 121 chronic grade 1/2 (not severe) side effects. These included muscle spasms and pain, facial swelling, rash, and gastrointestinal problems. All patients were switched to dasatinib treatment.
77% of side effects experienced had improved or resolved within 3 months after switching.
The most common treatment related side effects after the switch were: headaches in 33% of patients, pleural effusion (buildup of fluid around the lungs) in 26%, fatigue in 23% and a rash in 23%.
56% of patients maintained their molecular response while on dasatinib. This means their condition did not deteriorate. 44% of patients improved their molecular response while on dasatinib.
Patients who switched reported an improved quality of life.
The bottom line
This study concluded that CP-CML patients experience improvements in side effects and quality of life once they switch from imatinib to dasatinib treatment.
The fine print
The limitation to this study is that a small number of patients participated. This study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturers of dasatinib.
Consult your physician about the possibility of switching from imatinib to dasatinib.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Mar 20, 2018