Imatinib mesylate (STI571) in preparation for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and donor lymphocyte infusions in patients with Philadelphia-positive acute leukemias

A. Shimoni, N. Kröger, A. R. Zander, J. M. Rowe, I. Hardan, A. Avigdor, M. Yeshurun, I. Ben-Bassat, A. Nagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis (BC) and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) are associated with extremely poor outcome. Allogeneic transplantation during BC or active leukemia is most often unsuccessful due to high-rates of both treatment-related complications and relapse. Long-term results are significantly better if a second chronic phase or remission can be achieved prior to transplantation. Similarly, DLI given for the treatment of posttransplant relapse is more successful when given during a second remission. In this study we report our results with a previously unreported approach consisting of short-term treatment with imatinib mesylate (formerly, STI571) to induce or maintain remission, followed by allogeneic transplantation or DLI and the impact on transplantation/DLI outcome. Sixteen patients were treated either in preparation for transplantation (n = 12), for DLI (n = 1), or for both (n = 3). Ten had CML in BC; seven myeloid and three lymphoid BC. Six patients had Ph+ ALL. The donors were matched unrelated (n = 9), matched siblings (n = 5) or haplo-identical (n = 2). Eleven of 15 patients given imatinib pre-transplant were transplanted in complete hematologic response. Engraftment and GVHD rates were not different from expected. Seven patients had grade II-III hepatic toxicity after transplantation. After a median follow-up of 10 months (range, 3-16 months) six remain alive, two after further therapy. The 1-year survival rate was 25%. Four patients were given imatinib prior to DLI, all had complete response. Two remain in remission >6 months from relapse. In conclusion, treatment with imatinib allows transplantation in a more favorable status or maintaining remission with low toxicity until transplantation is feasible. Pre-transplant imatinib seems safe and not associated with excess post-transplant complications. Imatinib may have substantial activity in combination with DLI. Further study of a larger group of patients is required to assess the impact on long-term outcome and the role of post-transplant imatinib in controlling residual disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Donor lymphocyte infusion
  • Imatinib
  • Transplantation

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