Exp Hematol 2018 08 23;64:97-105.e4. Epub 2018 May 23.
Hematology Department, Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux, France; Groupe Fi-LMC, Institut Bergonié, Bodeaux, France.
For the last 15years, imatinib mesylate (IM) has represented the gold standard treatment for chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CP-CML); however, outcomes in the very long term remain unknown. We retrospectively analyzed the outcome of 418 IM first-line treated CP-CML patients followed in three reference centers over 15years in and outside of clinical trials, which is believed to represent the "real-life" care of such patients. Molecular analyses were standardized over the years. In case of intolerance or resistance or IM cessation and progression, all clinical data were collected and analyzed. After a median follow-up of 83 months (range 1-194), the overall survival (OS) rates were 91% and 82%, the progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 88.5% and 81%, and the event-free survival rates, including switching to another tyrosine kinase inhibitor, were 65% and 51%, respectively, at 5 and 10years. Thirteen patients (3%) entered blast crisis (BC) with a median survival of 2.2years after BC onset. Forty-nine percent of patients were in major molecular response at 1 year. Univariate analysis failed to detect any impact on survival of molecular response at 3 and 6 months. Sokal score had a significant impact on OS and PFS in a Cox model. Age had a significant impact on OS and PFS, mainly due to deaths in elderly patients unrelated to CML. Overall, 21% of patients reached a stable (≥1 year) molecular response 4 (MR4) and 6.5% reached MR4.5. At last follow-up, 63% of patients were still on IM and 19% were in treatment-free remission. We conclude that IM is an excellent therapeutic option providing impressive long-term OS rates.