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Br J Haematol. 2009 Jun;145(5):581-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07666.x. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Impact of tyrosine kinase inhibitors on patient outcomes in Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway.


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease that is often associated with several chromosomal and molecular abnormalities. Patients who have the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome and associated BCR-ABL1 oncogene have a particularly poor prognosis. Currently, allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is the only known curative treatment for Ph+ ALL and facilitating allo-HSCT in eligible patients is a key treatment goal. However, many patients relapse after allo-HSCT, particularly those with measurable residual disease prior to transplantation, and a significant percentage of patients are ineligible for allo-HSCT, particularly older patients. Hence, many patients require additional/alternative therapies to prolong survival. Studies are ongoing to determine the most effective first-line drug regimens for patients who subsequently undergo allo-HSCT and ineligible patients. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeted to Bcr-Abl are important novel therapies for Ph+ ALL. Although imatinib administered in combination with chemotherapy is established as the current first-line strategy, relapse is common, even among allo-HSCT recipients. Emerging data indicate that more potent multi-targeted kinase inhibitors (including dasatinib, nilotinib, and bosutinib) have promising efficacy in the first- or second-line setting. Here, the evidence base for existing drug treatments for Ph+ ALL is discussed and emerging therapeutic strategies are explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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