The Effect of interleukin 11 on thrombocytopenia associated with tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia

Ahmed Aribi, Hagop Kantarjian, Charles Koller, Deborah Thomas, Stefan Faderl, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Jorge Cortes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. During therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), approximately 20% to 50% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CM1.) develop grade ≥3 thrombocytopenia leading to treatment interruptions and dose reductions. Interleukin 11 (IL-11) reduces the incidence and the severity of thrombocytopenia in solid tumors. METHODS. The authors investigated the efficacy and safety of low-dose IL-11 for improving thrombocytopenia associated with TKI therapy in 14 patients with CML. The starting dose of IL-11 was 10 (μg/kg 3 times weekly, and the dose was escalated by 1 dose level every 2 weeks if the patients had no sustained platelet increase. RESULTS. The median patient age was 52 years. The median platelet count at the time IL-11 was started was 37 × 109/L. All patients had prior TKI dose reductions. After the initiation of IL-11, 8 of 14 patients (57%) had an increase in platelet count with a median peak platelet count of 110 × 109/L. One additional patient had no platelet increase but was able to tolerate an imatinib dose increase. Eleven patients had a decrease in the number of days of TKI therapy interruption secondary to thrombocytopenia after the initiation of IL-11 (6% of total treatment time vs 34% of total treatment time before IL-11). Therapy was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS. The current results indicated that IL-11 may correct thrombocytopenia associated with TKI therapy for patients with CML and that it has a favorable toxicity profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1338-1343
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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