Study compares ponatinib, imatinib for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia

Chronic myeloid leukemia that is resistant to available treatment could potentially be treated with ponatinib, according to new research. A team evaluated its efficacy and safety profile and compared it with imatinib in 307 previously untreated patients. The primary endpoint of the study was major molecular response at 12 months.

Chronic myeloid leukemia that is resistant to available treatment could potentially be treated with ponatinib, according to new research. A team evaluated its efficacy and safety profile and compared it with imatinib in 307 previously untreated patients. The primary endpoint of the study was major molecular response at 12 months. However, concerns involving vascular adverse events led to the trial's early termination, and only 13 patients in the imatinib group and 10 patients in the ponatinib group could be assessed after 12 months. Of those 23 patients, there was no significant different in the proportion who achieved major molecular response. Eleven of 154 patients who received ponatinib and 3 of 152 patients who received imatinib had arterial occlusive events, with 11 total patients experiencing "serious" events. In each respective group, more than 5% of patients experienced grade 3 or 4 adverse events, including thrombocytopenia in both groups. While the trial was not completed, researchers noted that preliminary data suggested there may be a slightly bigger benefit from using ponatinib versus imatinib in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, but more research is required.