Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Coverage from Every Angle

Imatinib Discontinuation Among Pediatric Patients With CML

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Although higher rates of deep molecular remission after the discontinuation of imatinib are reported in adult patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), imatinib cessation in pediatric patients was met with limited success, according to a study published in the British Journal of Haematology. Eveline S. J. M. de Bont, MD, PhD, of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and colleagues suggested that further research is necessary to extend the size of the cohort who might achieve treatment-free remissions and predict the occurrence of molecular relapse after treatment discontinuation.

“The overall long-term health of a growing population of [pediatric patients with chronic myeloid leukemia] is the driving force behind stopping therapy,” the authors noted.

The study enrolled 14 pediatric patients with CML to evaluate the effect of imatinib discontinuation after achieving and maintaining deep molecular remission for at least 2 years. Of the overall patient population, 4 patients maintained a deep molecular remission of 24 months (n = 2), 34 months (n = 1), and 66 months (n = 1), respectively. The remaining 10 patients relapsed; all relapses occurred within 6 months after the discontinuation of imatinib. The probability of maintaining deep molecular remissions at 6 months was 28.6%. The authors did not identify any parameters associated with molecular relapse.

“We hope that the data reported here will increase the acceptance of stopping [tyrosine kinase inhibitor] therapy in the pediatric population by clinicians as well as patients and families,” the authors concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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