, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 145-147
Date: 16 Jul 2008

Prophylaxis of central nervous system leukemia: a case of chronic myeloid leukemia with lymphoid blast crisis treated with imatinib mesylate

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Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in blast crisis has a dismal prognosis. Imatinib mesylate (IM) is a new drug which has been shown to induce complete hematological remission in 55% and complete cytogenetic response in 22% of the patients with CML in blast crisis.


A child with CML in lymphoid blast crisis was diagnosed by complete hematological and bone marrow examination. There was no central nervous system (CNS) leukemia at presentation. The child was treated with IM at a daily dose of 400 mg.


The child showed remission after IM administration for 28 days and remained in remission till 59 days. On day 59 she experienced headache and vomiting. Results of cerebrospinal fluid taken for cytopathology showed CNS leukemia. MCP 841 protocol for ALL and weekly intrathecal triple therapy (ITT) was given.


Along with IM treatment in patients with CML in blast crisis, weekly ITT with hydrocortisone, cytosine arabinoside and methotrexate should be recommended to prevent CNS involvement.