We aimed to describe the impact of time to response on the outcomes of 75 patients with accelerated-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML-AP) at diagnosis. Patients had at least 1 feature of AP: blasts ≥15% (n = 2), basophils ≥20% (n = 19), platelets <100 × 109/L (n = 7), cytogenetic clonal evolution (n = 34), or more than one factor (n = 13). Thirty-three patients received imatinib; 42 received a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (2GTKI) (19 dasatinib and 23 nilotinib). We used chi-square and Kaplan-Meier analyses to determine the impact of various degrees of molecular and cytogenetic response at early time points (3 and 6 months) on rates of overall cytogenetic and molecular response, overall survival (OS), event-free survival (EFS), transformation-free survival (TFS), and failure-free survival (FFS). After a median follow-up of 96 months (range: 18-224 months), the overall rate of complete cytogenetic response was 79%, of major molecular response, 71%, and of molecular reponse (MR)4.5, 59%. Patients who achieved a major cytogenetic response (MCyR) (n = 49) at 3 months had significantly better 3-year OS (94% vs 75%; P =.002), TFS (98% vs 73%; P <.001), EFS (93% vs 42%; P <.001), and FFS (83% vs 25%; P <.001) rates than patients who did not have MCyR at 3 months. Most (67%) who eventually achieved sustained MR4.5 had achieved MCyR at 3 months. In de novo CML-AP, early response at 3 and 6 months is a strong determinant of long-term outcome.
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