We investigated whether increasing the dose of imatinib mesylate might overcome drug resistance in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) whose disease manifests relapse or refractoriness to therapy. Fifty-four patients with Ph+ CML in chronic phase and with hematologic or cytogenetic resistance or relapse on imatinib mesylate therapy at 400 mg orally daily were treated with a higher dose of 400 mg orally twice daily (800 mg daily, 47 patients; or 600 mg daily increased from 300 mg daily, 7 patients). Among 20 patients treated for hematologic resistance or relapse, 13 (65%) achieved a complete (n = 9) or partial (n = 4) hematologic response, but only 1 had a cytogenetic partial response (Ph reduction from 100% to 10%) and 1 had a minor response (Ph reduction from 100% to 50%). Among 34 patients treated for cytogenetic resistance or relapse, 19 (56%) achieved a complete (n = 6) or partial (n = 7) cytogenetic response. We conclude that higher doses of imatinib mesylate may overcome disease-poor response to conventional doses and that this approach deserves further evaluation as frontline therapy for newly diagnosed CML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology