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Blood. 2004 Nov 1;104(9):2655-60. Epub 2004 Jul 1.

Imatinib mesylate (STI571) for treatment of children with Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia: results from a Children's Oncology Group phase 1 study.

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Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 3175 Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, QC, Canada, H3T 1C5.


The purpose of this study was to determine dose-limiting toxicities and pharmacokinetics of imatinib in children with refractory or recurrent Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) leukemias. Oral imatinib was administered daily at dose levels ranging from 260 to 570 mg/m(2). Plasma pharmacokinetic studies were performed on days 1 and 8 of course 1. There were 31 children who received 479 courses of imatinib. The most common toxicities encountered, which occurred in less than 5% of courses, were grade 1 or 2 nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, and reversible increases in serum transaminases. One patient at the 440-mg/m(2) dose level had dose-limiting weight gain. There were no other first-course dose-limiting toxicities. A maximum tolerated dosage was not defined. Among 12 chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients evaluable for cytogenetic response, 10 had a complete response and 1 had a partial response. Among 10 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients evaluable for morphologic response, 7 achieved an M1 and 1 achieved an M2 bone marrow. We observed marked interpatient variability in the pharmacokinetic parameters. In conclusion, we found that daily oral imatinib is well tolerated in children at doses ranging from 260 to 570 mg/m(2). Doses of 260 and 340 mg/m(2) provide systemic exposures similar to those of adults who are treated with daily doses of 400 and 600 mg, respectively.

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