New results from two separate trials demonstrate that Tasigna (nilotinib) is effective and helps achieve rapid responses when used as initial therapy in newly diagnosed patients with a life threatening form of leukemia.
The studies were presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
In both phase II studies, 96% of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia achieved a complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) after six months of Tasigna treatment.
“Newly diagnosed patients taking Tasigna experienced remarkable responses with minimal toxicity,” said Jorge Cortes, Professor of Medicine and Deputy Chair of Leukaemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “These results indicate there is potential for patients to reach important clinical milestones faster.”
Although CCyR is the primary goal of therapy, achieving major molecular response (MMR) may be the best predictor of long-term progression-free survival.
In the two studies, 74% and 45% of patients treated with Tasigna exhibited MMR after six months. Tasigna was well tolerated in both studies.
Tasigna is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of patients who are resistant or intolerant to prior treatment including Glivec. Tasigna is specifically designed to target the Bcr-Abl protein, which is produced only by cells containing the abnormal Philadelphia chromosome, and is recognised as the key cause of the overproduction of cancerous white blood cells. The Philadelphia chromosome is found in nearly all patients with CML.