Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Coverage from Every Angle

Insights From Observational Study of 1,000+ Patients With CML

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

To provide a snapshot—or perhaps a panorama—of what patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), treatments, and responses look like in the real world today, a team led by Giorgina Specchia, MD, of the University of Bari, Italy, undertook an observational epidemiologic study of 1,051 patients newly diagnosed with CML between January 2012 and June 2016. All were treated at 1 of 66 Italian hematology centers; their median age was 59 years, and 60.8% were men.

The study’s results, reported at the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition (Abstract 45) and published in the journal Blood, confirmed that collecting the clinical data of patients with CML “treated out of strictly clinical trials represents an essential tool for [assessing] long-term treatment.” [It may] offer physicians important information based on [patients’] clinical characteristics, the degree of response obtained, and therapy-related toxicities, the investigators noted.

According to Dr. Specchia and colleagues, overall survival at 5 years in patients with CML treated with tyrosine kinase inhibition was 93.4%. Among their other observations is that just under one-third of the study cohort overall was pretreated with hydroxyurea. Then, about half the patients received first-line treatment with imatinib and half, with a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Those treated with the latter had “higher, earlier, and deeper molecular response” than those receiving imatinib. At month 12, when about two-thirds of patients were evaluable for molecular response, 52.8% of the imatinib-treated patients had a major molecular response, compared with 66.3% of the second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor cohort.

The team is continuing to analyze all study endpoints. Their plan is “to estimate the response and toxicity according to [European LeukemiaNet] guidelines and [the] feasibility of treatment sequence in a cohort of patients treated in real life.”

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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