Expert Point of View: Ponatinib Continues to Impress in Patients with Leukemia

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At the 2011 ASH Annual Meeting, Pierre Laneuville, MD, Director of Hematology at McGill University in Montreal, predicted that ponatinib may be “the drug that will replace them all” in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia.

Dr. Laneuville explained his rationale, recalling that in the pivotal trial for imatinib (Gleevec), IRIS, a 20% resistance rate had emerged at 8 years. “Half of those patients had mutations, and ponatinib is effective in virtually all those mutations,” he noted.

He further agued that when used in the first-line setting, ponatinib might eliminate 10% of eventual treatment failures now currently observed with standard treatment. These failures are also due to mutations.

“So, that’s potentially quite interesting, and we’ll see if the manufacturer pursues that indication. I hope they will,” he commented. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Laneuville reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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