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Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Dec;95(49):e5488.

A lower dosage of imatinib in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors with toxicity of the treatment.

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aDepartment of Gastrointestinal Surgery bLaboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.


This study investigated the efficiency and safety of imatinib in the lower dose (300 mg/d) in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who cannot tolerate imatinib in the standard dose (400 mg/d).Steady-state imatinib trough concentration (Cmin) values in 18 patients with GIST who were taking 300 mg/d or 400 mg/d imatinib were measured. The clinical features, toxicity data, and follow-up data were collected.Around 18 patients with GIST were investigated in which 9 patients received 300 mg/d imatinib. The mean imatinib Cmin value of the 18 patients was 1841 ng/mL (1018-3897 ng/mL). The difference between the patients treated with 400 mg/d (n=9) and those treated with 300 mg/d (n = 9), which have imatinib Cmin values of 2122±1003 ng/mL and 1559±478 ng/mL, respectively, was not significant (P = 0.148). In total, 12 of the 18 patients had complete resection of the primary tumor, 8 of whom received postoperative imatinib 300 mg/d. After the average follow-up of 15.4 months, no recurrence was documented. Of the 6 patients with unresected GIST, 1 received imatinib 300 mg/d for 13 months. The tumor size of this patient continued to decrease. In contrast to patients treated with imatinib 400 mg/d, patients treated with imatinib 300 mg/d notably exhibited lesser drug-related side effects.Patients with GIST who exhibited intolerance to the standard dose of imatinib (400 mg/d), a lower dose of 300 mg/d could provide not only sufficient plasma Cmin and good disease control but also the alleviation of the side effects.

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