Midostaurin: a novel therapeutic agent for patients with FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia and systemic mastocytosis

Ther Adv Hematol. 2017 Sep;8(9):245-261. doi: 10.1177/2040620717721459. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


The development of FLT3-targeted inhibitors represents an important paradigm shift in the management of patients with highly aggressive fms-like tyrosine kinase 3-mutated (FLT3-mut) acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Midostaurin is an orally administered type III tyrosine kinase inhibitor which in addition to FLT3 inhibits c-kit, platelet-derived growth factor receptors, src, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. Midostaurin is the first FLT3 inhibitor that has been shown to significantly improve survival in younger patients with FLT3-mut AML when given in combination with standard cytotoxic chemotherapy based on the recently completed RATIFY study. Its role for maintenance therapy after allogeneic transplantation and use in combination with hypomethylating agents for older patients with FLT3-mut has not yet been defined. Midostaurin also has recently been shown to have significant activity in systemic mastocytosis and related disorders due to its inhibitory effect on c-kit bearing a D816V mutation. Activation of downstream pathways in both of these myeloid malignancies likely plays an important role in the development of resistance, and strategies to inhibit these downstream targets may be synergistic. Incorporating patient factors and tumor characteristics, such as FLT3 mutant to wild-type allele ratios and resistance mutations, likely will be important in the optimization of midostaurin and other FLT3 inhibitors in the treatment of myeloid neoplasms.

Keywords: FLT3 mutation; acute myeloid leukemia; allogeneic transplant; clinical trials; midostaurin; systemic mastocytosis.

Publication types

  • Review