Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Among Patients With a History of Prior Malignancies: A Tale of Dual Survivorship

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Some patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have a history of previous malignancies. To the authors' knowledge, outcomes for CML diagnosed in these patients have not been well described. The current study was conducted to determine the outcome of patients with CML and a history of prior malignancies.


The current study included patients who were enrolled in clinical trials of tyrosine kinase inhibitors as initial therapy for CML in chronic phase from July 2000 to January 2014.


Of the 630 patients with CML who were treated with frontline tyrosine kinase inhibitors, 626 had a known prior malignancy status. Of these, 45 patients (7%) had a prior malignancy other than nonmelanoma skin cancer whereas 17 patients (3%) had a history of nonmelanoma skin cancers alone. Characteristics of CML were similar between the patients with no prior malignancy, those with a prior malignancy, and those with nonmelanoma skin cancer. Patients with a prior malignancy were found to have an older median age compared with the other 2 groups. The most common prior malignancies were nonmelanoma skin cancer in 20 patients, breast cancer in 11 patients, melanoma in 7 patients, prostate cancer in 6 patients, and colorectal cancer in 5 patients. With regard to CML, the event-free survival, transformation-free survival, and failure-free survival rates were found to be similar between the groups. There was a statistically significantly decreased survival in the group with a prior malignancy versus the group with no prior malignancy versus the group with nonmelanoma skin cancer. In a multivariate analysis, advanced age and an elevated creatinine level were found to be associated with worse survival after a diagnosis of CML.


Patients with CML with a history of prior malignancies appear to have the same excellent outcome as patients with no prior malignancies. In the few instances in which concomitant therapy for other malignancies was required during therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, this was able to be accomplished without significant toxicity.

The authors report on a group of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase who were treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and who had a prior history of another malignancy. The results suggest these patients have the same excellent outcomes for chronic myeloid leukemia as those who do not have a prior malignancy.

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