In a nutshell
This study examined the safety and effectiveness of using nilotinib (Tasigna) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) unresponsive to other treatment. The study concluded that nilotinib is safe and effective in the treatment of CML unresponsive to imatinib (Gleevec).
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow which can lead to abnormal immune cells. It is often treated with a drug called imatinib which targets certain proteins on the abnormal cells. CML can become resistant to this treatment and nilotinib may be another option. Nilotinib also targets proteins on the cancer cells. It is important to research the safety and effectiveness of the use of this drug in routine clinical practice.
Methods & findings
Eighty-five patients with CML unresponsive to other treatment were included in this study. All patients had been treated wtih imatinib. Patients received nilotinib twice daily and were followed up for 2 years.
By 2 years, 75.3% of patients had a complete cytogenetic response (no measurable genetically abnormal cells) and 56.8% had a molecular response (low levels of BCR-ABL protein in the cells) to nilotinib treatment.
Eighty (94.1%) patients experienced side effects of nilotinib treatment. Drug-related side effects included low platelet count (blood component involved in clotting – 21.2%), liver damage (21.2%) and itching (17.7%).
The bottom line
The study concluded that nilotinib is safe and effective in the treatment of patients with CML unresponsive to imatinib.
The fine print
This study had a small sample size and requires larger scale research for results to be confirmed.
Discuss with your doctor about using nilotinib if treatment for CML has become unresponsive.
Published By :
Therapeutic Advances in Hematology
Mar 01, 2018