Imatinib is safe and effective in the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) over a 10-year period, according to a study published in Leukemia.

Lida Kalmanti, MD, and colleagues of the German CML Study Group observed 965 patients who were randomized to imatinib with a median observation of 7.1 years.

“Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have changed the natural course of CML,” the authors noted. “With the advent of second-generation TKI safety and efficacy issues have gained interest.”

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They found that after 10 years, all response levels were reached faster with 800 mg of imatinib, with progression-free survival at 82 percent and overall survival at 84 percent.

In addition, 59 percent of patients on imatinib had achieved molecular remission.

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There were more adverse reactions found in patients treated with imatinib, but the researchers noted that they are “mostly mild and manageable.”

“After 10 years, imatinib continues to be an excellent initial choice for most patients with CML,” the authors concluded.


  1. Kalmanti, L, et al. “Safety and efficacy of imatinib in CML over a period of 10 years: data from the randomized CML-study IV.” Leukemia. doi:10.1038/leu.2015.36. February 13, 2015.