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First-line treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia: dasatinib, nilotinib, or imatinib.

Author(s): Wei G, Rafiyath S, Liu D

Affiliation(s): Bone Marrow Transplantation Center, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310003, PR China.

Publication date & source: 2010-11-26, J Hematol Oncol., 3:47.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review

Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of BCR-ABL, was the standard first-line therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) for almost 10 years. Dasatinib and nilotinib, two newer drugs with higher potency than imatinib against BCR-ABL and activity against most imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutations, have each shown superior efficacy compared with imatinib for first-line treatment of chronic-phase CML in randomized phase 3 trials. With 14 months follow-up time, available data suggest no obvious differences in efficacy between dasatinib and nilotinib. Compared with imatinib, dasatinib is associated with higher rates of pleural effusion and thrombocytopenia, but lower rates of edema, gastrointestinal AEs, musculoskeletal AEs, and rash. Nilotinib is associated with higher rates of dermatologic toxicity, headache, and biochemical abnormalities associated with hepatic and pancreatic toxicity compared with imatinib, but lower rates of edema, gastrointestinal AEs, muscle spasm, and neutropenia. Several studies have shown that poor adherence to imatinib detrimentally affects responses and should be considered in patients with a suboptimal response. The different dosing requirements of dasatinib (once daily with or without food) and nilotinib (twice daily with fasting) may be an additional factor in selecting frontline agents. This review compares and contrasts the three FDA approved first line TKI agents.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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