The discovery and approval of imatinib drastically changed the therapeutic algorithm for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). Imatinib is now considered the therapy of choice for patients with newly diagnosed CML, including those previously considered candidates for allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We compared numbers and types of allogeneic HCTs performed for CML in North America before and after the introduction of imatinib, and publication of the International Randomized Trial of Interferon and STI571 (IRIS) using transplants reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). The number of HCTs for CML registered with the CIBMTR in 1998 was 617; 62% were performed in first chronic phase (CP1). Only 1% of patients had received imatinib prior to transplantation. In 2003, the number of HCTs reported was 223; 44% were performed in CP1 and 77% of patients received imatinib prior to transplantation. The introduction of imatinib therapy has had a profound impact on the use of allogeneic transplantation for CML, with a marked decrease in the number of transplants for CML and an accompanying decrease in the proportion done in CP1. Most patients now receive a trial of imatinib before proceeding to HCT.
- Chronic myeloid leukaemia
- Haematopoietic cell transplantation