Stopping Imatinib: When is Enough Enough?

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Imatinib therapy was discontinued in 40 patients who had sustained undetectableBCR-ABLtranscripts for 2 or more years, and close follow-up revealed approximately 50% remained with undetectable disease off treatment at 24 months. For those who developed evidence for recurrence, imatinib reinduced deep molecular responses. However, using a highly sensitive research assay, patients in treatment-free remission still have detectableBCR-ABLDNA. Thus, continued vigilance to diagnose and treat early relapse remains clinically relevant, even for those off therapy for several years.


Ross DM, et al. Safety and efficacy of imatinib cessation for CML patients with stable undetectable minimal residual disease: Results from the TWISTER study. Blood 2013;122:515-522.

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