Although the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib is often used as first-line therapy for newly diagnosed chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), some patients fail to respond, or become intolerant to imatinib. Nilotinib is a potent and selective second-generation TKI, with confirmed efficacy and tolerability in patients with imatinib-resistant or -intolerant CML. A phase I/II study was conducted in Japanese patients with imatinib-resistant or -intolerant CML or relapsed/refractory Phfl acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Thirty-four patients were treated with nilotinib for up to 36 months. Major cytogenetic response was achieved in 15/16 patients (93.8%) with chronic-phase CML within a median of approximately 3 months. Major molecular response was achieved in 13/16 patients (81.3%). These responses were sustained at the time of the most recent evaluation in 13 patients and 11 patients, respectively. Hematologic and cytogenetic responses were also observed in patients with advanced CML. The BCR-ABL mutation associated with the most resistance to available TKIs, T315I, was observed in three patients. Common adverse events included rash, nasopharyngitis, leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, nausea, headache and vomiting. Most adverse events resolved following nilotinib dose interruptions/reductions. These results support the favorable longterm efficacy and tolerability of nilotinib in Japanese patients with imatinib-resistant or -intolerant chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.
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