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Int J Hematol. 2012 Sep;96(3):357-63. doi: 10.1007/s12185-012-1155-1. Epub 2012 Aug 15.

Late response to low-dose imatinib in patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Kanazawa University Hospital, 13-1 Takaramachi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan.


Imatinib was the first BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor to become clinically available. In this study, we retrospectively evaluated the long-term efficacy of low-dose imatinib (final maintenance dose <300 mg per day) due to intolerance, in comparison to optimal-dose imatinib (≥300 mg per day) in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the median time to complete cytogenetic response, major molecular response, and complete molecular response were longer for 31 patients receiving low-dose imatinib (360, 1360, and 1420 days, respectively) than 74 patients receiving optimal-dose imatinib (170, 420, and 720 days, respectively). However, the differences in response shrank over time and progression-free survival were comparable between the two groups. These findings suggest that long-term treatment with low-dose imatinib is an acceptable alternative for patients with intolerance to the optimal dose.

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