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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jul 1;26(19):3204-12. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.9260. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

Intermittent target inhibition with dasatinib 100 mg once daily preserves efficacy and improves tolerability in imatinib-resistant and -intolerant chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Box 1270, 505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. nshah@medicine.ucsf.edu



Dasatinib is a BCR-ABL inhibitor, 325-fold more potent than imatinib against unmutated BCR-ABL in vitro. Phase II studies have demonstrated efficacy and safety with dasatinib 70 mg twice daily in chronic-phase (CP) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) after imatinib treatment failure. In phase I, responses occurred with once-daily administration despite only intermittent BCR-ABL inhibition. Once-daily treatment resulted in less toxicity, suggesting that toxicity results from continuous inhibition of unintended targets. Here, a dose- and schedule-optimization study is reported.


In this open-label phase III trial, 670 patients with imatinib-resistant or -intolerant CP-CML were randomly assigned 1:1:1:1 between four dasatinib treatment groups: 100 mg once daily, 50 mg twice daily, 140 mg once daily, or 70 mg twice daily.


With minimum follow-up of 6 months (median treatment duration, 8 months; range, < 1 to 15 months), marked and comparable hematologic (complete, 86% to 92%) and cytogenetic (major, 54% to 59%; complete, 41% to 45%) response rates were observed across the four groups. Time to and duration of cytogenetic response were similar, as was progression-free survival (8% to 11% of patients experienced disease progression or died). Compared with the approved 70-mg twice-daily regimen, dasatinib 100 mg once daily resulted in significantly lower rates of pleural effusion (all grades, 7% v 16%; P = .024) and grade 3 to 4 thrombocytopenia (22% v 37%; P = .004), and fewer patients required dose interruption (51% v 68%), reduction (30% v 55%), or discontinuation (16% v 23%).


Dasatinib 100 mg once daily retains the efficacy of 70 mg twice daily with less toxicity. Intermittent target inhibition with tyrosine kinase inhibitors may preserve efficacy and reduce adverse events.

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