Novartis Logo Adult patients newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) can possibly benefit from the recently introduced drug. According to a latest study, Tasigna (nilotinib) can aid in treating adult Ph+ CML patients. The medication seems to be more efficacious than standard Glivec (imatinib) in gaining molecular and cytogenetic response as well as delaying cancer progression.

Investigations conducted in laboratory assert that Tasigna is a potent and selective inhibitor of the Bcr-Abl protein that triggers production of cancer cells in Ph+ CML. The drugs also appear active against a broad spectrum of Bcr-Abl mutations linked with resistance to Glivec. Scientists conclude that Tasigna is comparatively beneficial than Glivec in treating Ph+ CML. Tasigna is apparently capable of eliminating Bcr-Abl faster and more deeply than Glivec. It also lowers rates of cancer progression after 12 months of therapy. Major molecular response (MMR) is known to be a measure of deep reduction in Bcr-Abl. MMR is possibly a crucial therapeutic milestone related to positive long-term outcomes for patients with Ph+ CML in chronic phase.

HervĂ© Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology, alleged, “We are pleased that Tasigna is now approved for newly diagnosed Ph+ CML patients in chronic phase in the member states of the European Union. With this expanded indication, newly diagnosed patients can benefit from a Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor that, according to pivotal data, surpassed the standard of care Glivec, in key measures of efficacy, including delaying disease progression at 12 months.”

Treatment with Tasigna supposedly resulted in higher rates of MMR and complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) than with Glivec. On completion of the follow-up treatment for 18 months, two patients on the Tasigna 300 mg twice daily arm apparently progressed to either accelerated phase or blast crisis. On the other hand, 17 patients on the Glivec arm were registered with progression in accelerated phase or blast crisis. Fewer patients discontinued treatment for adverse events from the Tasigna 300 mg twice daily arm and the Glivec 400 mg once daily arm.

The study was presented at the 46th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting held in June.