Abstract

Median age of patients with CML is about 65 years, according to SEER 2000–2005 data. However, the treatment with Imatinib in elderly has been seldom specifically addressed: in particular, there is a lack of data regarding very elderly CML patients. To highlight peculiar aspects of toxicity and efficacy of Imatinib in this subset which accounts for at least 10–15% of all CML cases, we revised retrospectively 28 CML patients treated with Imatinib when aged > 75 years from 4 haematological Institution in Rome; there were 12 males and 16 females, median age at Imatinib was 78.7 years (IR 75.8 – 82.9), Sokal Risk at diagnosis was intermediate in 20 patients, high in 6 and not valuable in 2. One or more concomitant diseases requiring specific treatments were present in 26/28 patients (92.8%), with 15 patients (53.5%) assuming 3 or more concomitant drugs. Nine patients (32.1%) have been pretreated ≥ 6 months with HU before starting Imatinib; on the whole, median time from diagnosis to Imatinib was 1.8 months (IR 0.7 – 25.1). Starting dose of Imatinib was 400 mg/day in 23 patients (82.1%) and 300 mg/day in 5 patients (17.9%); overall, 15 patients (53.5%) (14/23 at 400 mg starting dose and 1/5 at 300 mg starting dose) needed a dose reduction and 6 (21.4 %) discontinued Imatinib for toxicity (early toxicity in 4 and late toxicity in 2). Excluding the 4 patients who discontinued Imatinib due to early toxicity, maximum tolerated daily dose during treatment was 400 mg in 8 patients, 300 mg in 13 patients and 200 mg in 3 patients. According to CTC-AE, grade 3 – 4 haematological and extra-haematological toxicities were observed in 7 (25%) and 12 (42.8%) patients, respectively; 2 patients (7.1%) presented a pleural effusion during Imatinib treatment. All patients were fully evaluable for response to Imatinib, with a median treatment period of 30.6 months (IR 15.7 – 49.2); six patients (21.4%) failed any response, (including 4 patients who discontinued Imatinib due to early toxicity) and 22 (78.6%) achieved a complete haematological response (CHR). Among these 22 patients in CHR, 4 refused any other karyotipic or molecular evaluation (3 are still alive in CHR, 1 died in CHR from unrelated cause after 44,5 months) and 17/18 (60.7% of all 28 patients) achieved a cytogenetic response (CyR), major in 1 patient and complete in 16 patients. In addition, 7 patients (25% of all 28 patients) achieved a complete molecular remission, with an undetectable BCR/ABL hybrid gene at qualitative nested PCR. In conclusion, Imatinib at reduced daily dose of 300 mg seems a relatively safe and quite effective treatment for very elderly CML patients; from our data, no upper age limit should be given for TKinhibitors treatment but also very elderly (and with concomitant severe diseases) patients should have this chance of cure.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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