Nilotinib is effective and well tollerate in patients with multiple comorbidities

Carmen Fava, Marco Fizzotti, Giuseppe Saglio, Giovanna Rege-Cambrin



A 62 year old lady was accidentally diagnosed of chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic phase, low Sokal risk, during analysis to investigate a monoclonal gammopathy. The patient had many comorbidities, including ischemic heart disease, lung disease and chronic renal insufficiency. She was obese and had a metabolic syndrome with glucose intolerance and hyperlypidemia. She started imatinib, 400 mg daily. Unfortunately she couldn’t tolerate the therapy, developing within one month many side effects that we were only able to manage with drug interruption. The side effects reappeared when the drug was restarted even at a lower level, so we decided to change imatinib with nilotinib. Cardiologic side effects are rare with both drugs although cardiologic monitoring is recommended for these patients. Whereas imatinib is known to reduce glucose level in small settings of patients with type II diabetes, several cases of hyperglycemia developed under treatment with nilotinib. Our patient didn’t show any cross-intolerance between imatinib and nilotinib, tolerated nilotinib very well and didn’t show any increase in glucose levels, with no need of starting therapy for hyperglycemia. Furthermore she achieved very rapidly a complete cytogenetic response with major molecular remission. This case show how nilotinib is effective and tolerable also in patients with many serious comorbidities.


Imatinib; Nilotinib; Comorbidities; Diabetes

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