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Doctor consults with cancer patient and her father
Photo by Rhoda Baer

The European Commission (EC) has expanded the marketing authorization for dasatinib (Sprycel).

The drug is now approved to treat patients ages 1 to 18 with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase (CP).

The EC has also approved a new formulation of dasatinib—a powder for oral suspension (PFOS) intended for patients who cannot swallow tablets whole or who weigh 10 kg or less.

Dasatinib is also EC-approved to treat adults with:

  • Newly diagnosed Ph+ CML-CP
  • Chronic, accelerated, or blast phase CML with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy, including imatinib
  • Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoid blast CML with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy.

The EC’s latest approval of dasatinib is supported by results from a phase 2 trial (NCT00777036), which were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in March.

The trial included 29 patients with imatinib-resistant/intolerant CML-CP and 84 patients with newly diagnosed CML-CP.

The previously treated patients received dasatinib tablets. Newly diagnosed patients were treated with dasatinib tablets (n=51) or PFOS (n=33).

Patients who started on PFOS could switch to tablets after receiving PFOS for at least 1 year. Sixty-seven percent of patients on PFOS switched to tablets due to patient preference.

The average daily dose of dasatinib was 58.18 mg/m2 in the previously treated patients and 59.84 mg/m2 in the newly diagnosed patients (for both tablets and PFOS). The median duration of treatment was 49.91 months (range, 1.9 to 90.2) and 42.30 months (range, 0.1 to 75.2), respectively.

Rates of confirmed complete hematologic response (CHR) at any time were 93% in the previously treated patients and 96% in the newly diagnosed patients.

At 12 months, previously treated patients had a major molecular response (MMR) rate of 41% and a complete molecular response (CMR) rate of 7%. In newly diagnosed patients, MMR was 52%, and CMR was 8%.

At 24 months, previously treated patients had an MMR rate of 55% and a CMR rate of 17%. In the newly diagnosed patients, MMR was 70%, and CMR was 21%.

The rate of major cytogenetic response (MCyR) at any time was 89.7% in all previously treated patients and 90% when the researchers excluded patients with MCyR or unknown cytogenetic status at baseline.

The rate of complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) at any time was 94% in all newly diagnosed patients and 93.9% when the researchers excluded patients with CCyR or unknown cytogenetic status at baseline.

The median progression-free survival and overall survival had not been reached at last follow-up.

The estimated 48-month progression-free survival was 78% in the previously treated patients and 93% in the newly diagnosed patients. The estimated 48-month overall survival was 96% and 100%, respectively.

Dasatinib-related adverse events (AEs) occurring in at least 10% of the previously treated patients included nausea/vomiting (31%), myalgia/arthralgia (17%), fatigue (14%), rash (14%), diarrhea (14%), hemorrhage (10%), bone growth and development events (10%), and shortness of breath (10%).

Dasatinib-related AEs occurring in at least 10% of the newly diagnosed patients included nausea/vomiting (20%), myalgia/arthralgia (10%), fatigue (11%), rash (19%), diarrhea (18%), and hemorrhage (10%).


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