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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 74

of 'Clinical use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for chronic myeloid leukemia'

Erythropoietin is effective in improving the anemia induced by imatinib mesylate therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase.
Cortes J, O'Brien S, Quintas A, Giles F, Shan J, Rios MB, Talpaz M, Kantarjian H
Cancer. 2004;100(11):2396.
BACKGROUND: Myelosuppression occurs in up to 50% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who are treated with imatinib and>or = Grade 3 myelosuppression is reported in approximately 10% of patients.
METHODS: The authors investigated the prognostic significance of anemia occurring during therapy with imatinib in patients with CML in chronic phase.
RESULTS: Of 338 patients treated with imatinib (150 patients after interferon failure and 188 patients with newly diagnosed CML), 230 (68%) developed anemia. In a multivariate analysis, factors associated with an increased probability of developing anemia were a starting hemoglobin level<12 g/dL, age>or = 60 years, female gender, higher imatinib dose, and intermediate or high Sokal risk group. Of these 230 patients, 102 patients received treatment with 40,000 U of recombinant human erythropoietin administered subcutaneously once weekly. An increase in the hemoglobin level of>or = 2 g/dL was achieved in 69 patients (68%) and 22 patients (22%) had anincrease of 1-1.9 g/dL. Patients who developed anemia had a trend toward a lower probability of complete cytogenetic remission compared with patients without anemia (68% vs. 77%; P = 0.14), as well as a trend for inferior survival. Patients with anemia and other manifestations of myelosuppression were found to have a significantly worse outcome than those with isolated anemia.
CONCLUSIONS: The authors concluded that erythropoietin is safe and effective in patients in chronic-phase CML who develop anemia with imatinib therapy.
Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. jcortes@mdanderson.org