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Treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia: a qualitative systematic review

Authors Ferdinand, Mitchell S, Batson S, Tumur

Received 27 April 2012

Accepted for publication 21 June 2012

Published 3 August 2012 Volume 2012:3 Pages 51—76


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Roxanne Ferdinand,1 Stephen A Mitchell,2 Sarah Batson,2 Indra Tumur1

1Pfizer, Tadworth, UK; 2Abacus International, Bicester, UK

Background: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder of blood stem cells. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib was the first targeted therapy licensed for patients with chronic-phase CML, and its introduction was associated with substantial improvements in response and survival compared with previous therapies. Clinical trial data are now available for the second-generation TKIs (nilotinib, dasatinib, and bosutinib) in the first-, second-, and third-line settings. A qualitative systematic review was conducted to qualitatively compare the clinical effectiveness, safety, and effect on quality of life of TKIs for the management of chronic-, accelerated-, or blast-phase CML patients.
Methods: Included studies were identified through a search of electronic databases in September 2011, relevant conference proceedings and the grey literature.
Results: In the first-line setting, the long-term efficacy (up to 8 years) of imatinib has been confirmed in a single randomized controlled trial (International Randomized Study of Interferon [IRIS]). All second-generation TKIs reported lower rates of transformation, and comparable or superior complete cytogenetic response (CCyR), major molecular response (MMR), and complete molecular response rates compared with imatinib by 2-year follow-up. Each of the second-generation TKIs was associated with a distinct adverse-event profile. Bosutinib was the only second-generation TKI to report quality-of-life data (no significant difference compared with imatinib treatment). Data in the second- and third-line setting confirmed the efficacy of the second-generation TKIs in either imatinib-resistant or -intolerant patients, as measured by CCyR and MMR rates.
Conclusion: Data from first-line randomized controlled trials reporting up to 2-year follow-up indicate superior response rates of the second-generation TKIs compared with imatinib. Current evidence from single-arm studies in the second-line setting confirm that nilotinib, dasatinib, and bosutinib are valuable treatment options for the significant subgroup of patients who are intolerant or resistant to imatinib treatment.

Keywords: chronic myeloid leukemia, imatinib, nilotinib, dasatinib, bosutinib

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