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Study reveals no impact of age on outcome in chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated with imatinib
Date:3/30/2011

(WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011) While the median age at diagnosis for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is over 60 years old and incidence increases dramatically with age,limited data are available about the long-term outcome for older patients treated with imatinib, the standard first-line therapy used to treat CML. Results from a study published today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, reveal that age does not affect response to imatinib and study investigators conclude that overall survival for CML is similar in older and younger patients treated with the drug.

Two widely used prognostic scores for CML, the Sokal and EURO risk scores, have historically identified older age as a predicting factor of lower response rate and poorer outcome. However, these risk scores were validated before imatinib was introduced as a therapy for CML and may now hold less relevance, as imatinib has dramatically improved the prognosis for CML patients.

"Older age has typically been considered a poor prognostic factor in patients with CML and has a negative impact on response rates and long-term survival, regardless of treatment," said Gabriele Gugliotta, MD, co-author of the study and Fellow in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. "Our study focused on disease progression, treatment response, and survival of this specific patient population to assess the role of imatinib in older patients."

To test whether age at diagnosis is a valid predictor of response, researchers from several institutions in Italy conducted an analysis of 559 patients with early chronic phase CML (six months or less from diagnosis to start of imatinib treatment) who were enrolled in three concurrent clinical tria
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Contact: Lindsey Love
webmaster@hematology.org
202-552-4925
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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