AACR logoPatients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) may be treated with imatinib. Though it is helpful in treating the disorder, it also has several disadvantages. Scientists in Japan have apparently discovered a method to precisely determine patients’ eligibility in resisting treatment with imatinib. Resistance can possibly occur in only 2 percent and 10 percent as per the definition, yet it can avoid several biological and psychological problems.

Many medications claiming to be a better alternative to imatinib are under development. It was ascertained that currently there is no such drug which is able to overcome imatinib resistance. Throughout the research, investigators monitored the likelihood of a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor in judging the activity of leukemia cells.

Yusuke Ohba, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor, quoted, “Using this test, we are now able to identify and predict the most suitable treatment option for individual chronic myeloid leukemia patients. This technique is both sensitive and practical to use; it is especially useful for patients who are in relapse, a case in which the clinician’s important decision regarding the next step in treatment must be made quickly and accurately.”

During the research, scientists carried out experiments on laboratory cells. This enabled them to produce a row of analysis measuring protein levels and activity markers within CML lines. The investigators discovered drug-resistant cells within the cultures and novel therapeutic option like dose escalation, combination therapy or second generation inhibitors. It is suggested that imatinib resistance has to be switched accurately. If it is switched to another drug then the treatment may be a waste of time and worsen the patient’s condition.

The research is published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.