Nilotinib is effective in imatinib-resistant or -intolerant patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in blastic phase

Leukemia. 2012 May;26(5):959-62. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.355. Epub 2011 Dec 13.


Nilotinib is a selective inhibitor of BCR-ABL approved for use in newly diagnosed and imatinib-resistant or -intolerant patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase. In this study, 400 mg of nilotinib was administered twice daily to the patients with myeloid (MBP, n=105) or lymphoid blastic phase (LBP, n=31) CML. After a minimum follow-up of 24 months, major hematologic responses were observed in 60% (MBP) and 59% (LBP) of patients. Major cytogenetic responses (MCyR) were attained in 38% (MBP) and 52% (LBP) of patients; and complete cytogenetic responses in 30% and 32%, respectively. Median duration of MCyR was 10.8 (MBP) and 3.2 months (LBP). Median overall survival was 10.1 (MBP) and 7.9 (LBP) months with 12- and 24-month survival of 42% (MBP 44%, LBP 35%) and 27% (MBP 32%, LBP 10%), respectively. Twelve MBP patients and two LBP patients received subsequent stem cell transplantation. Myelosuppression was frequent, with grade 3/4 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia in 68%, 63% and 47% of patients, respectively. Grade 3/4 hypophosphatemia, hyperbilirubinemia and lipase elevation were observed in 15%, 11% and 11% of patients, respectively. Nilotinib has significant efficacy in patients with BP CML, but given the limited long-term survival of these patients, novel agents are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzamides
  • Blast Crisis*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult


  • 4-methyl-N-(3-(4-methylimidazol-1-yl)-5-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-3-((4-pyridin-3-ylpyrimidin-2-yl)amino)benzamide
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Piperazines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases