Safety and efficacy of nilotinib in routine clinical practice in patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia in chronic or accelerated phase with resistance or intolerance to imatinib: results from the NOVEL study

Nilotinib, a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), is approved for the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in many countries, including Taiwan. Though a number of controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of nilotinib, studies assessing the safety and efficacy of nilotinib in routine clinical practice are limited. The current study was an open-label, single-arm study conducted across 12 centres in Taiwan in adult patients with CML in chronic or accelerated phase with confirmed Ph+ chromosome (or BCR-ABL) and resistant or intolerant to one or more previous TKIs. The primary objective was to collect the long-term safety data in patients treated with nilotinib 400 mg, twice daily for up to 2 years. The study enrolled 85 patients with CML, including 76 in the chronic phase (CML-CP) and 9 in the accelerated phase (CML-AP). Overall, 1166 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 80 patients (94.1%), of which 70 AEs (6%) in 28 patients (32.9%) were serious and 336 AEs (28.8%) reported in 60 patients (70.6%) were drug-related. Common drug-related AEs were thrombocytopenia (21.2%), increased alanine aminotransferase (21.2%) and pruritus (17.7%). Of the 85 patients, 19 switched from imatinib due to intolerance – AEs were resolved in 16 of these 19 patients (84.2%). By 24 months, the cumulative rates of complete cytogenetic response (CCyR), major molecular response (MMR), MR4.0 (BCR-ABL1IS ?0.01%) and MR4.5 (BCR-ABL1IS ?0.0032%) were 75.3, 56.8, 16.2 and 7.4%, respectively. Patients with CML-CP at baseline had higher overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) than those with CML-AP. The authors concluded that this is the first study that demonstrated that nilotinib is effective and well-tolerated in patients resistant or intolerant to imatinib in the real-world setting in Taiwan, reflecting effective management of CML by physicians under routine clinical practice in Taiwan.

Authors: Kuo CY, Wang PN, Hwang WL, Tzeng CH, Bai LY, Tang JL, Chang MC, Lin SF, Chen TY, Chen YC, Tan TD, Hsieh CY, Lin C, Lai C, Miljkovic D, Chang CS. ; Full Source: Therapeutic Advances in Hematology. 2018 Mar;9(3):65-78. doi: 10.1177/2040620718756603. Epub 2018 Mar 4.

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