According to new data from the landmark IRIS* study, presented at the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) [Atlanta, Georgia, US; June 2006], the overall survival rate in patients treated with imatinib [Gleevec, Glivec] exceeds that of all other therapies for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). The latest results from the largest clinical trial to date in adult patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) CML in chronic phase revealed an overall estimated 5-year survival rate of nearly 90% for patients treated with first-line imatinib. Furthermore, it was estimated that less than 5% of patients died from CML-related causes. The proportion of patients responding to imatinib increased over the 5-year treatment period, and the annual rate of progression to more advanced disease declined over the course of therapy to just 0.6% in the fifth year. "This represents a complete turn around in the prognosis for patients with this disease", said Dr Brian J Druker from Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, US, who presented the results.