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Dasatinib in the treatment of imatinib refractory chronic myeloid leukemia

Authors Ramchandren R, Schiffer C

Published 8 May 2009 Volume 2009:3 Pages 205—214


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Radhakrishnan Ramchandren, Charles A Schiffer

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA

Abstract: The development of imatinib for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has proven to be an example of medical success in the era of targeted therapy. However, imatinib resistance or intolerance occurs in a substantial number of patients. Additionally, patients who have progressed beyond the chronic phase of CML do relatively poorly with imatinib therapy. Mechanisms of imatinib resistance include BCR-ABL point mutations resulting in decreased imatinib binding, as well as mutation-independent causes of resistance such as SRC family kinase dysregulation, BCR-ABL gene amplification, drug influx/efflux mechanisms and other poorly understood processes. The options for therapy in these patients include stem cell transplantation, imatinib dose escalation as well as the use of second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Dasatinib is a second-generation multi-kinase inhibitor with several theoretical and mechanistic advantages over imatinib. Moreover, several studies have evaluated dasatinib in patients who have progressed on imatinib therapy with encouraging results. Other novel agents such as mTOR inhibitors, bosutinib and INNO 406 have also shown promise in this setting. Although treatment options have increased, the choice of second-line therapy in patients with CML is influenced by concerns surrounding the duration of response as well as toxicity. Consequently, there is no agreed upon optimal second-line agent. This paper reviews the current data and attempts to address these issues.

Keywords: chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), dasatinib, imatinib, resistance (imatinib resistance), nilotinib, tyrosine kinase inhibitor

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