Dr. Cortes Discusses Ponatinib as Initial Therapy for CML

Jorge E. Cortes, MD
Published: Tuesday, Feb 05, 2013

Jorge E. Cortes, MD, Department of Leukemia, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the use of ponatinib as initial therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Ponatinib works by blocking the function of BCR-ABL, the abnormal protein responsible for causing leukemia in certain cells. One important property that ponatinib possesses, according to Cortes, makes it difficult for tumors to develop resistant clones.

There is currently an ongoing phase II study at MD Anderson Cancer Center evaluating ponatinib as initial therapy for patients with CML in the chronic phase. The primary objective of the study is to estimate the proportion of patients with previously-untreated chronic phase CML attaining complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) at six months of treatment with ponatinib.

The randomized, multicenter phase III EPIC trial will evaluate the efficacy of ponatinib compared to imatinib in adult patients with newly diagnosed CML in the chronic phase with regards to major molecular response (MMR) rate at 12 months. The secondary endpoints of the trial include MMR at five years, molecular response at three months, CCyR at 12 months, progression-free survival, and overall survival. The trial will complete enrollment by the end of 2013.

Jorge E. Cortes, MD, Department of Leukemia, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the use of ponatinib as initial therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Ponatinib works by blocking the function of BCR-ABL, the abnormal protein responsible for causing leukemia in certain cells. One important property that ponatinib possesses, according to Cortes, makes it difficult for tumors to develop resistant clones.

There is currently an ongoing phase II study at MD Anderson Cancer Center evaluating ponatinib as initial therapy for patients with CML in the chronic phase. The primary objective of the study is to estimate the proportion of patients with previously-untreated chronic phase CML attaining complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) at six months of treatment with ponatinib.

The randomized, multicenter phase III EPIC trial will evaluate the efficacy of ponatinib compared to imatinib in adult patients with newly diagnosed CML in the chronic phase with regards to major molecular response (MMR) rate at 12 months. The secondary endpoints of the trial include MMR at five years, molecular response at three months, CCyR at 12 months, progression-free survival, and overall survival. The trial will complete enrollment by the end of 2013.


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