Imatinib for chronic myeloid leukaemia

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Impressive results have also been seen in patients given imatinib for chronic myeloid leukaemia [4], [5].

Before imatinib was introduced in the late 1990s, this type of leukaemia responded very poorly to standard treatments.  When the new drug was tried, initially in patients who had not responded to standard therapy, the outlook for patients improved greatly.

Imatinib stabilizes the disease, appears to prolong life substantially by comparison with the pre-imatinib era, and has mostly mild side-effects. It is now regarded as the first treatment option.