Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) on natural killer (NK) cells have been shown to predict for response in chronic phase-chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML) patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We performed KIR genotyping in 148 newly diagnosed CP-CML patients treated with a novel sequential imatinib/nilotinib strategy aimed at achievement of optimal molecular responses at defined time points. We found the presence of KIR2DL5B to be associated with inferior transformation-free survival and event-free survival and an independent predictor of inferior major molecular response (BCR-ABL1 ≤0.1%) and molecular response 4.5 (BCR-ABL1 ≤0.0032%). This suggests a critical early role for NK cells in facilitating response to imatinib that cannot be overcome by subsequent intensification of therapy. KIR genotyping may add valuable prognostic information to future baseline predictive scoring systems in CP-CML patients and facilitate optimal frontline treatment selection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology