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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: development of new drugs

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a model of clinical and biological investigation that may be useful for other neoplastic diseases. The therapeutic response to imatinib as the front line therapy has changed concepts and procedures in CML and has created hope concerning new more potent drugs for this and other oncological diseases that have a similar mechanism of action. However, not all patients achieve this ideal situation. Thus, Baccarani et al. suggested that cases of failure of suboptimal response, as a precaution or in warning situations should be studied in order to develop differentiated new therapies earlier. Resistance to imatinib exists and may depend of several mechanisms. Delay in its use or the advanced phase of the disease are more frequently associated with imatinib resistance. In respect to the biological point of view, over expression of the BCR-ABL gene, additional genetics abnormalities and mutations that involve other regions of the molecule (P-Loop, A-Loop or kinase dominion) are the most important factors associated to imatinib resistance. Hence, new therapeutic options are necessary in order to overcome resistance and to act on other target cells. Currently, Dasatinib was approved in the US, Europe and Brazil. Nilotinib is in advanced phase III studies and was recently approved in the US. Both Dasatinib and Nilotinib have been approved for intolerant and refractory imatinib patients. Bosutinib, INNO - 406 as well as other TK, aurora kinase and histone deacetylase inhibitors are in clinical studies and probably will be available in the future.

Chronic myeloid leukemia; TK inhibitors; imatinib resistance; new drugs

Associação Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia e Terapia Celular R. Dr. Diogo de Faria, 775 cj 114, 04037-002 São Paulo/SP/Brasil, Tel. (55 11) 2369-7767/2338-6764 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil