Imatinib at 400 mg daily is effective in chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) after interferon failure, although only a few patients achieve a molecular remission. We investigated whether higher doses of imatinib may be more effective. Thirty-six patients with chronic-phase CML after failure on interferon-α were treated with 400 mg imatinib twice daily. Median time from diagnosis was 25 months (range, 10-135 months); 4 patients (11%) had clonal evolution. All 11 patients with active disease achieved complete hematologic response. Excluding patients with fewer than 35% Ph-positive metaphases before the start of therapy, 19 (90%) of 21, evaluable patients achieved a major cytogenetic response. Of 27 evaluable patients, 24 (89%) achieved a complete cytogenetic response. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed in bone marrow every 3 months. Of 32 evaluable patients, 18 (56%) showed BCR-ABL/ABL percentage ratios lower than 0.045%, including 13 (41%) with undetectable levels. With a median follow-up of 15 months, all patients were alive in chronic phase. Toxicities were similar to those reported with standard dose; 71% of patients continue to receive 600 mg or more of imatinib daily. In conclusion, high-dose imatinib induces complete cytogenetic responses, in most patients with chronic-phase CML after interferon failure. This is accompanied by a high rate of molecular remission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology