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Ther Adv Hematol. 2013 Apr;4(2):103-17. doi: 10.1177/2040620712468289.

Management of imatinib-resistant patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Leukemia, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


Since its approval in 2001 for frontline management of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), imatinib has proven to be very effective in achieving high remission rates and improving prognosis. However, up to 33% of patients will not achieve optimal response. This has led researchers to develop new second- and third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In this article, we review the mechanisms of resistance, recommendations for monitoring, assessment of milestones, and management options for patients with CML who are resistant to imatinib therapy. We further explain the potential pitfalls that can lead to unnecessary discontinuation, the prognosis of patients whose condition fails to respond to treatment, and the upcoming therapies.


CML; imatinib resistance; treatment; tyrosine kinase inhibitor

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