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Bee PC, Gan GG, Tai YT, Haris AR, Chin E, Veera SN
Correspondence: Dr Bee Ping Chong, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The introduction of imatinib mesylate in 1998 has changed the management of chronic myeloid leukaemia. It is now the first-line therapy for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukaemia patients worldwide. However, its long-term survival benefit still needs to be established in clinical setting among Asian patients.
Methods All chronic myeloid leukaemia patients in the chronic phase who were on imatinib mesylate therapy were retrospectively reviewed. Data was collected through a review of case notes, which was then processed, managed and analysed.
Results A total of 44 patients were included in the study. The cumulative rates of complete haematological response, major cytogenetic response and major molecular response were 93.2%, 75.0% and 34.2%, respectively. The overall survival and event-free survival at five years were 86.0% and 84.9%, respectively. 31.8% of the patients developed anaemia, 29.5% neutropenia and 27.3% thrombocytopenia. A total of 43.2% of patients developed non-haematological side effects. Higher dosage (> 600 mg) and smaller body size (< 60 kg) were risk factors for haematological side effects. Patients with major cytogenetic response and absence of thrombocytopenia had better survival.
Conclusion The majority of our chronic myeloid leukaemia patients did well with imatinib therapy. The adverse effects in our patients were tolerable, and no patient had to stop treatment permanently.
Keywords: chronic myeloid leukaemia, chronic phase, imatinib mesylate, major cytogenetic response, overall survival
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(1): 57–61