Background Nilotinib is a BCR-ABL inhibitor designed to be more potent and selective than imatinib. Imatinib was the first of a new class of drugs that act by specifically inhibiting a tyrosine kinase receptor.
Purpose To assess the molecular response at 12 months from the start of nilotinib treatment, defined as BCR-ABL transcript levels on the International Scale of 0·1% or less by real-time quantitative PCR in a peripheral blood sample.
Materials and Methods We present data from the ENESTnd study. In ENESTnd, a phase 3, multicentre, open-label, randomised study, patients treated with nilotinib demonstrated higher and faster rates of major molecular response (MMR), more profound molecular response (MR), and complete cytogenetic responses (CCyR) compared with imatinib by 12 and 24 months. 282 adult patients were randomly assigned to receive nilotinib 300 mg twice daily, 281 to receive nilotinib 400 mg twice daily and 283 to receive imatinib. Patients were eligible if they had been diagnosed with chronic phase, Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML within the previous 6 months.
Results By 24 months after the start of treatment, significantly more patients had a MMR with nilotinib than with imatinib (201 with nilotinib 300 mg twice daily, 187 with nilotinib 400 mg twice daily and 124 with imatinib; p < 0.0001 for both comparisons). Significantly more patients in the nilotinib groups achieved a complete molecular response at any time than did those in the imatinib group (74 with nilotinib 300 mg twice daily, 59 with nilotinib 400 mg twice daily and 29 with imatinib; p < 0·0001 for nilotinib 300 mg twice daily vs. imatinib, p = 0.0004 for nilotinib 400 mg twice daily vs. imatinib).
Conclusions Nilotinib continues to demonstrate superiority vs. imatinib with faster and more profound molecular responses. These results support nilotinib as a first-line treatment option for patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive and chronic myeloid leukaemia.
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.