Background and objectives: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) have improved the management of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, a significant proportion of patients do not achieve the optimal response or are resistant to TKI. ABL kinase domain mutations have been extensively implicated in the pathogenesis of TKI resistance. Treatment with second-generation TKI has produced high rates of hematologic and cytogenetic responses in mutated ABL patients. The aim of this study was to determine the type and frequency of ABL mutations in patients who were resistant to imatinib or had lost the response, and to analyze the effect of second-generation TKI on their outcome. Patients and methods: The presence of ABL mutations in 45 CML patients resistant to imatinib was evaluated by direct sequencing and was correlated with the results of the cytogenetic study (performed in 39 cases). The outcome of these patients after therapy with nilotinib or dasatinib was analyzed. Results: ABL mutations were detected in 14 out of 45 resistant patients. Patients with clonal cytogenetic evolution tended to develop mutations more frequently than those without clonal evolution. Nine out of the 15 patients with ABL mutation responded to a treatment switch to nilotinib (n = 4), dasatinib (n = 2), interferon (n = 1) or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (n = 2). Conclusion: The frequency of ABL mutations in CML patients resistant to imatinib is high and is more frequent among those with clonal cytogenetic evolution. The change to second-generation TKI can overcome imatinib resistance in most of the mutated patients. © 2012 Elsevier España, S.L. © 2012 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
- ABL mutations
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Clonal cytogenetic evolution
- Imatinib resistance
- Second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors