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Semin Hematol. 2003 Apr;40(2 Suppl 2):15-20.

Imatinib: a targeted clinical drug development.

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Novartis Oncology, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland; and Novartis Oncology, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp, Florham Park, NJ, USA.


Imatinib (Gleevec) (formerly STI571) is an orally bioavailable rationally developed inhibitor of the tyrosine kinases Bcr-Abl, Kit, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). In 4 years of clinical development, more than 12,000 patients have been treated in the clinical development program. Imatinib was first shown to be highly effective in the treatment of all stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Moreover, preliminary results of a randomized study have demonstrated superior efficacy and safety of first-line imatinib therapy compared with a combination of interferon and cytarabine. Imatinib has also been shown to be the only effective drug therapy in the treatment of patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors expressing the stem cell factor (SCF) receptor Kit. This review outlines the successive steps in the clinical development of this new, targeted anticancer agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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