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Imatinib Is Effective in Children With Previously Untreated CML in Early Chronic Phase: Results of the French National Phase IV Trial. Millot F, Baruchel A, Guilhot J, Petit A, Leblanc T, Bertrand Y, Mazingue F, Lutz P, Vérité C, Berthou C, Galambrun C, Bernard F, Yacouben K, Bordigoni P, Edan C, Reguerre Y, Couillault G, Méchinaud F, Cayuela JM, Guilhot F. - J Clin Oncol. 2011 Jun 13.

PURPOSE Imatinib is the standard of care in adults with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase (CP). Only a few studies to assess efficacy in children have been performed. We report on the results of the French prospective trial ( identifier NCT00845221) conducted in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed CML in CP.

PATIENTS AND METHODS A total of 44 patients from age 10 months to 17 years with newly diagnosed CML in CP received daily imatinib 260 mg/m(2). Progression-free survival, responses, and tolerance were evaluated.

RESULTS With a median follow-up times of 31 months (range, 11 to 64 months), the estimated progression-free survival rate at 36 months was 98% (95% CI, 85% to 100%). A complete hematologic response was achieved in 98% of the patients. The rates of complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) and major molecular response (MMR) were 61% and 31% at 12 months, respectively. During follow-up, CCyR and MMR were achieved in 36 children (77%) and 25 children (57%), respectively. Overall, 30% of the patients discontinued imatinib, mainly because of unsatisfactory response. The most common adverse events were neutropenia and musculoskeletal events.

CONCLUSION Imatinib is effective in children with CML in CP with response rates similar to rates reported in adults. The adverse effects are acceptable, but larger follow-up studies are required to fully assess the long-term impact.