Second-Generation Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in First-Line Treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)
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Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have contributed to marked improvements in survival in patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). This article discusses the place of the second-generation TKIs dasatinib and nilotinib in the first-line treatment of CML and is based on published literature. The new agents are more potent and effective than imatinib. Data from pivotal clinical trials indicate that response to dasatinib and nilotinib is greater and more rapid than that to imatinib, resulting in a higher probability of patients achieving an optimal response to treatment. Differences between the newer agents with respect to patient groups for whom caution is advised, drug interaction potential, haematological toxicity, pulmonary toxicity, changes in the immune system and effects on laboratory parameters are discussed. With similar levels of efficacy, the choice of second-generation agents should be guided by the characteristics of the individual patient and the most suitable dosing regimen.