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Second-line CML drug evokes faster response, fewer side effects, pivotal study finds
Date:6/5/2010

CHICAGO - Dasatanib, a medication currently approved as treatment for drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), provided patients with quicker, better responses as a first therapy than the existing front-line drug, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings were presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology today, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Leukemia, presented the findings and is the corresponding author on the published study.

Currently, imatinib, or Gleevec , is the approved initial therapy for CML, which has increased the five-year survival rate for the disease from 50 percent to 90 percent, said Kantarjian. However, 30-40 percent of imatinib patients do not achieve confirmed cytogenic complete response (CCyR), or the absence of the defective chromosome that causes the disease, within a year. This benchmark is clearly associated with improvements in long-term outcome, said Kantarjian.

"Previous research conducted at MD Anderson found that more patients taking dasatinib were achieving complete responses more quickly than they do on the current standard of care," said Kantarjian. "In this pivotal Phase III study, we confirmed that dasatinib gets more patients to high-quality remission faster than imatinib, making it a superior front-line therapy. Dasatinib, on average, also has a more favorable side-effect profile."

For the multinational Phase III study, known as DASSIN (Dasatinib versus Imatinib Study In treatment-nave CML patients), 519 newly diagnosed CML patients who had received no prior treatment were randomized to receive either dasatinib, also known as Sprycel , 100 milligrams once daily (259 patients), or imatinib, 400 milligrams once daily (260 patients). CCyR, confirmed on two assessments, was the study's primary
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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