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Blood. 2013 Jun 13;121(24):4867-74. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-03-490128. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Early responses predict better outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia: results with four tyrosine kinase inhibitor modalities.

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  • 1Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Early responses to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)-chronic phase (CP) are associated with improved outcome. We analyzed the impact of such a response on outcomes among patients treated with 4 TKI modalities as frontline therapy in CML-CP. A total of 483 patients who received 400 or 800 mg imatinib, nilotinib, or dasatinib were analyzed. The median follow-up was 72 mo. Landmark analysis at 3 mo by molecular response showed that the cumulative proportions of 3-y event-free survival (EFS) for 3-mo BCR-ABL levels was 95% for those with ≤1%, 98% for >1% to 10%, and 61% for those with >10% (P = .001). The corresponding values by cytogenetic responses were 97% if Ph+ = 0%, 89% if Ph+ = 1% to 35%, and 81% if Ph+ >35% (P = .001). Cytogenetic response at 3 mo significantly discriminated for 3-y overall survival (OS): 98%, 96%, and 92%, respectively (P = .01). In multivariate analysis, young patients, high Sokal index, and treatment with imatinib 400 significantly predicted for poor (>35%) cytogenetic response at 3 mo. Early responses are predictive for EFS and failure-free survival and to a lesser extent OS, regardless of the treatment modality, although therapies other than standard-dose imatinib result in higher rates of deep early responses.

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