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Dasatinib, Nilotinib show strong early results as frontline therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia
Date:12/9/2007

ATLANTA - Two drugs approved for use as second line therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia are showing promising results as frontline therapy for newly diagnosed patients in two clinical trials, research teams led by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report at the 49th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

All patients in both trials have a complete cytogenetic response - absence of the aberrant chromosome that causes the disease - after one year on either drug. Approximately 90 percent reach complete cytogenetic response as early as 6 months.

"These are early results but certainly encouraging so far in both cases," says lead author Jorge Cortes, M.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Leukemia. Patients in both trials are in the chronic, or initial phase, of CML and had not received prior therapy for their disease.

The two medications are dasatinib, the Bristol-Myers Squibb drug known as Sprycel(r), and nilotinib, the Novartis drug known as Tasigna(r). Both have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in CML patients whose disease becomes resistant to the frontline therapy imatinib, also a Novartis drug known as Gleevec(r), or who become intolerant to the drug.

Cortes and colleagues compared the two medications at 3, 6 and 12 months with historical data from patients who took either 400 mg or 800 mg daily of Gleevec.

For dasatinib, at three months 26 of 33 patients (79 percent) achieved complete cytogenetic response. At six months 30 of 32 (94 percent) and at 12 months all 24 evaluable patients were at a complete cytogenetic response.

For nilotinib, at three months 21 of 22 patients (95 percent) achieved complete cytogenetic response with all 13 evaluable patients at six months and all 11 at 12 months reaching complete cytogenetic response.

Historical complete cytogenetic responses for low-dose imatinib were 37
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Contact: Scott Merville
sdmervil@mdanderson.org
713-516-4855
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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