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Therapeutic options for chronic myeloid leukemia: focus on imatinib (Glivec®, Gleevec™)

Authors Henkes M, van der Kuip H, Aulitzky WE

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 163—187


1Martin Henkes, 2Heiko van der Kuip, 1Walter E Aulitzky

12nd Department of Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology, Robert Bosch Hospital, Auerbachstr. 110, Stuttgart, Germany; 2Dr Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Auerbachstr. 112, Stuttgart, and University of Tuebingen, Germany

Abstract: Treatment options for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have changed dramatically during the last decades. Interferon-α treatment and stem cell transplantation (SCT) clearly improved survival over conventional chemotherapy and offered the possibility of complete and durable responses. With the advent of the small molecule inhibitor imatinib mesylate (Glivec®, GleevecTM) targeting the causative Bcr-Abl oncoprotein, the era of molecular cancer therapy began with remarkable success especially in chronic phase patients. Today, imatinib is the first-line treatment for CML. However, imatinib does not appear to be capable to eliminate all leukemia cells in the patients and pre-existing as well as acquired resistance to the drug has been increasingly recognized. To overcome these problems, several strategies involving dose escalation, combinations with other agents, and novel Bcr-Abl inhibitors have been developed.

Keywords: CML therapy, imatinib, SCT, novel kinase inhibitors

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