Author(s): Wassmann B, Pfeifer H, Goekbuget N, Beelen DW, Beck J,
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Abstract The best strategy for incorporating imatinib in front-line treatment of Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has not been established. We enrolled 92 patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ ALL in a prospective, multicenter study to investigate sequentially 2 treatment schedules with imatinib administered concurrent to or alternating with a uniform induction and consolidation regimen. Coadministration of imatinib and induction cycle 2 (INDII) resulted in a complete remission (CR) rate of 95\% and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negativity for BCR-ABL in 52\% of patients, compared with 19\% in patients in the alternating treatment cohort (P = .01). Remarkably, patients with and without a CR after induction cycle 1 (INDI) had similar hematologic and molecular responses after concurrent imatinib and INDII. In the concurrent cohort, grades III and IV cytopenias and transient hepatotoxicity necessitated interruption of induction in 87\% and 53\% of patients, respectively; however, duration of induction was not prolonged when compared with patients receiving chemotherapy alone. No imatinib-related severe hematologic or nonhematologic toxicities were noted with the alternating schedule. In each cohort, 77\% of patients underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) in first CR (CR1). Both schedules of imatinib have acceptable toxicity and facilitate SCT in CR1 in the majority of patients, but concurrent administration of imatinib and chemotherapy has greater antileukemic efficacy.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Leukemia