Imatinib, a breakthru development in the treatment of CML has been the standard first line treatment for the past several years. This is about to change following presentations at the ASH 2009 and ASCO 2010 meetings.
In the first study Dasatinib was compared head to head with Imatinib in newly diagnosed patients with CML. The complete cytogenetic responses and major molecular responses were higher in the Dasatinib group and these responses were acheived sooner than in the Imatinib group.
In the second study Nilotinib compared to Imatinib in newly diagnosed CML patients resulted in superior complete cytogenetic and major molecular responses.
These second generation BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors may take over as first line treatment of CML although economics could play a major role.