Analyses of Treatment Outcome According to Age in Patients With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Receiving Front-line Imatinib Therapy

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The present study investigated the outcomes in different age groups of 101 patients receiving front-line imatinib therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia. Middle-age patients had a significantly greater rate of major molecular response, a superior estimated 6-year event-free survival, and a greater estimated 6-year overall survival rate compared with younger and elderly patients and, consequently, the best long-term treatment outcomes.


Previous studies have indicated that the effect of age at the diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is minimized in patients treated with imatinib. The treatment response and survival rates were similar for younger and elderly patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of age on the treatment outcomes in patients with CML receiving front-line imatinib therapy.

Patients and Methods:

Using age, 101 patients were divided into 3 groups: young (age, 18-44 years; YP), middle-age (age, 45-64 years; MP), and elderly (age, ≥ 65 years; EP). The patients' clinical features, treatment responses, survival, and adverse events were evaluated.


The complete cytogenetic response rates were similar in all 3 groups (81.8% in YP, 86.8% in MP, and 76.7% in EP; P = .328). However, the major molecular response rate was greatest in the MP group (84.2% vs. 63.6% in the YP and 60.0% in the EP group; P < .001). Most of the nonhematologic adverse events (all grades) were in the EP group (40.0% vs. 27.3% in the YP and 21.1% in the MP group; P = .005). The estimated 6-year event-free survival in the MP group (75.5%) was significantly greater than that in the YP group (58.6%) or EP group (43.4%). Also, the estimated 6-year overall survival rate in the EP group (73.5%) was significantly lower than that in the YP group (90.8%) and MP group (86.4%) (P < .001 for all).


Our results have shown that middle-age patients have the best clinical outcomes, with the greatest rates of an optimal therapeutic response, longer event-free survival, and longer overall survival.

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