Front-line treatment of Philadelphia positive chronic myeloid leukemia with imatinib and interferon-alpha: 5-year outcome.
ABSTRACT In 2004, we reported the short-term results of a multicentric, phase 2 study of imatinib 400 mg daily and pegylated interferon-alpha in the treatment of 76 early chronic phase Philadelphia-positive chronic myeloid leukemia patients. In this report, we update the results with an observation time of five years. After two years of treatment, all but 10 patients (13%) had discontinued pegylated interferon-alpha. The complete cytogenetic response rate at five years was 87%, and 94% of complete cytogenetic responders maintained the complete cytogenetic response after five years. All but one complete cytogenetic response also achieved a major molecular response. These data confirm the excellent response to imatinib front-line and the stability of the complete cytogenetic response. Any possible additional benefit of the combination with interferon-alpha remains uncertain, due to low patient compliance.