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Does Imatinib Affect Bone Marrow Morphology in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, February 25, 2019

Research published in Advances in Hematology found that patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) experienced a decrease in bone marrow cellularity after receiving imatinib treatment. “Imatinib therapy in CML not only decreases marrow cellularity, but also helps toward normalization of [the] bone marrow microenvironment by reducing fibrosis and angiogenesis,” concluded Geeta Yadav, MD, of King George’s Medical University in India, and colleagues.

The prospective study, performed between July 2016 and June 2017, included 31 recently diagnosed patients with CML. Patients in chronic phase received 400 mg of imatinib per day, whereas those in blast and accelerated phase received 600 mg/day.

Prior to treatment, patients were assigned a marrow morphologic response (MMR) score according to cytologic and histologic features of marrow, including grade of fibrosis. They were also assessed for mean microvessel density (MVD) as well as BCR-ABL transcript levels and hematologic parameters in the peripheral blood. Participants were then reevaluated after 3 months of imatinib therapy to detect changes.

Overall, 86.21% of patients experienced a decrease in marrow cellularity. In terms of fibrosis grade, 72.42% of patients showed a decrease in grade, 10.34% showed progression in grade, and 17.24% showed no change in grade. Patients whose MMR score was 2 or higher (n = 4) and those with progression in fibrosis grade (n = 3) showed inferior molecular response (BCR-ABL transcripts > 10%). A 66.5% reduction was observed in MVD after therapy.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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