Mutations within the BCR-ABL kinase domain in imafinib-treated chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are the main mechanism of acquired resistance. The early detection of mutations should provide clinical benefit by allowing early intervention. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) results of BCR-ABL mRNA were correlated with mutation analysis in 214 patients treated with imatinib. We determined whether there was a difference in the incidence of mutations between the patients with a more than 2-fold rise in BCR-ABL and patients with stable or decreasing levels. Of the 56 patients with a more than 2-fold rise, 34 (61%) had detectable mutations (median rise, 3.0-fold; 25th-75th percentiles, 2.3-5.2). In 31 (91%) of these 34 patients, the mutation was present at the time of the rise and became detectable within 3 months in the remaining patients. Only 1 (0.6%) of 158 patients with stable or decreasing BCR-ABL levels had a detectable mutation, P less than .0001. Thus, a more than 2-fold rise identified 34 (97%) of 35 patients with a mutation. We conclude that a rise in BCR-ABL of more than 2-fold can be used as a primary indicator to test patients for BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology