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.SOURCE:
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.