STI-571 (imatinib, Gleevec, Glivec, CGP 57148) is an inhibitor of the Abl group of protein-tyrosine kinases. One of these enzymes, the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein, results from the fusion of the BCR and ABL genes that result from the reciprocal chromosomal translocation that forms the Philadelphia chromosome. The Philadelphia chromosome occurs in 95% of people with chronic myeloid leukemia. ABL is the cellular homologue of the oncogene found in murine Abelson leukemia virus, and BCR refers to breakpoint cluster region. The Bcr-Abl oncoprotein exhibits elevated protein-tyrosine kinase activity, which is strongly implicated in the mechanism of development of chronic myeloid leukemia. STI-571 is effective in the treatment of the stable phase of chronic myeloid leukemia. The c-Abl protein kinase domain exists in an active and inactive conformation. STI-571 binds only to the inactive state of the enzyme as shown by X-ray crystallography. The drug binds to a portion of the ATP-binding site and extends from there into adjacent hydrophobic regions. STI-571 is a competitive inhibitor of Abl kinase with respect to ATP. Resistance to STI-571 is often the result of mutations in residues of the Bcr-Abl kinase that ordinarily bind to the drug. Inhibition of target protein kinases represents an emerging therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer.