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Nilotinib, ponatinib appear effective for different types of chronic myeloid leukemia

Monday, December 6, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/07/2010)

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Nilotinib may improve survival in some chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients, and patients with various types of CML respond well to ponatinib, according to research being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 4 to 7 in Orlando, Fla. Other studies being presented outline the optimal use of imatinib, address how a new gene target functions for several myeloid malignancies, highlight a tool for predicting acute myeloid leukemia outcomes, and address the use of mitoxantrone in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

In a phase II study, Gianantonio Rosti, M.D., of the University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues evaluated 73 patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome (Ph+) CML who received nilotinib 400 mg twice daily. The investigators found that the complete cytogenetic response (CCgR) rate at 12 months was 96 percent. The cumulative CCgR rate for participants was 100 percent within 12 months. In addition, overall survival, progression-free survival, and failure-free survival all reached 99 percent, and event-free survival was 92 percent, after a median follow-up of 36 months.

In an open-label, dose escalation phase I study, Jorge Cortes, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues evaluated 67 patients with various refractory hematologic malignancies who received a daily oral dose of ponatinib. Patients with CML in the chronic phase, CML in chronic phase with T315I mutation, or CML in accelerated or blast phase or with Ph+ ALL responded well to ponatinib. In addition, responses were seen in heavily refractory patients with or without mutations who were resistant to currently approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

"While these results need to be confirmed in a larger study, ponatinib may be the next step in coming closer to overcoming, and possibly preventing, the most difficult mechanisms of resistance in CML, and ultimately finding a cure for Ph+ leukemias," Cortes said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies.

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