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

ls in the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell'Adulto CML Working Party, between May 2003 and April 2007. Trial participants over age 65 were defined as "older" patients and those under age 65 were classified as "younger" patients.

Results from the patient analysis revealed that complete hematologic response, or a return to normal blood cell and platelet counts, was observed at three-month follow-up in 97 percent of the older age group and 96 percent of the younger age group. At six, 12, and 24 months follow-up, 69 percent, 78 percent, and 74 percent of older patients and 67 percent, 77 percent, and 78 percent of younger patients, respectively, achieved complete cytogenetic response, or the point when no leukemic cells are detected in the blood. As for long-term survival, after discounting deaths unrelated to CML in both the older and younger patients, researchers found no significant difference in mortality rates between the two age groups. The adjusted overall survival rate for the older patients was 94 percent, compared to 96 percent for the younger patients (p=0.4), further demonstrating that age was not a significant factor in imatinib response and did not affect patient survival.

"This is the first study that has specifically analyzed the long-term outcome of older patients with early chronic phase CML treated with imatinib," said Gianantonio Rosti, MD, lead study author and hematologist in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital at the University of Bologna. "While increasing age is generally associated with higher mortality, the results of our analysis demonstrate that when it comes to treating CML patients, older age must not be a limitation for treatment with imatinib, as it is a very effective therapy for this patient population."


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Contact: Lindsey Love
webmaster@hematology.org
202-552-4925
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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