Treatment Options for Blastic-Phase CML
- Imatinib mesylate, dasatinib, and nilotinib have demonstrated activity in patients with myeloid blast crisis and lymphoid blast crisis or Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.[1,2] Two trials of imatinib mesylate and one trial of dasatinib involving a total of 518 patients in blastic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) confirm a hematologic response rate of 42% to 55% and a major cytogenetic response rate of 16% to 25%, but the estimated 2-year survival rate is under 28%.[2-4][Level of evidence: 3iiiA] Clinical trials will explore combining imatinib mesylate with other drugs to improve the prognosis of patients with blastic-phase CML.
- Vincristine and prednisone with or without an anthracycline is another treatment option (for the approximately 25% of patients with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-positive cells and lymphoblastic transformation).[6,7]
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) represents the only potentially curative approach in these patients. Allogeneic BMT is more effective in patients induced into a second chronic phase.
- Hydroxyurea as palliative therapy.
- High-dose cytarabine.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with blastic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
- Druker BJ, Sawyers CL, Kantarjian H, et al.: Activity of a specific inhibitor of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase in the blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome. N Engl J Med 344 (14): 1038-42, 2001. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Saglio G, Hochhaus A, Goh YT, et al.: Dasatinib in imatinib-resistant or imatinib-intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia in blast phase after 2 years of follow-up in a phase 3 study: efficacy and tolerability of 140 milligrams once daily and 70 milligrams twice daily. Cancer 116 (16): 3852-61, 2010. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Kantarjian HM, Cortes J, O'Brien S, et al.: Imatinib mesylate (STI571) therapy for Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast phase. Blood 99 (10): 3547-53, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Sawyers CL, Hochhaus A, Feldman E, et al.: Imatinib induces hematologic and cytogenetic responses in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia in myeloid blast crisis: results of a phase II study. Blood 99 (10): 3530-9, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Fruehauf S, Topaly J, Buss EC, et al.: Imatinib combined with mitoxantrone/etoposide and cytarabine is an effective induction therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in myeloid blast crisis. Cancer 109 (8): 1543-9, 2007. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Preti HA, O'Brien S, Giralt S, et al.: Philadelphia-chromosome-positive adult acute lymphocytic leukemia: characteristics, treatment results, and prognosis in 41 patients. Am J Med 97 (1): 60-5, 1994. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Walters RS, Kantarjian HM, Keating MJ, et al.: Therapy of lymphoid and undifferentiated chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis with continuous vincristine and adriamycin infusions plus high-dose decadron. Cancer 60 (8): 1708-12, 1987. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Kantarjian HM, Talpaz M, Kontoyiannis D, et al.: Treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in accelerated and blastic phases with daunorubicin, high-dose cytarabine, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. J Clin Oncol 10 (3): 398-405, 1992. [PUBMED Abstract]