September 28, 2016
The development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for chronic myeloid leukemia, including imatinib, was spurred by an increased understanding of the disease’s genetics. Together, these advances have “dramatically” improved outcomes for patients with CML, according to Gabriela S. Hobbs, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital.
“The approval of imatinib (Gleevec, Novartis) was one of the most important changes in the way we treat cancer,” Hobbs told HemOnc Today. “It really was a watershed moment in oncology. It changed more than the way we think about CML and the way we treat CML – it changed our approach to many other cancers. It demonstrated that, if you understand the genetics of a disease, you can target it with therapies that are specific for those genetic mutations.”