Efficacy and safety of nilotinib as third-line therapy in an elderly patient with CML

Giovanni Caocci, Sandra Atzeni, Giorgio La Nasa

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/cmi.v6i2S.1139


This case report describes a 74 year old male patient with low Sokal risk chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Treatment was started four years ago with imatinib, 400 mg/day. The patient achieved complete hematologic response but, after 3 months of treatment, developed grade 3 skin toxicity. Imatinib was stopped and the patient was started on dasatinib, achieving complete cytogenetic and molecular response. Two months later, physical examination revealed bilateral gynecomastia. After 2 years of treatment the patient presented with pleural effusion and the drug dose was reduced but, following relapse of CML, therapy was switched to nilotinib, 800 mg/day. Treatment with nilotinib is currently ongoing and is well tolerated by the patient who is again in complete molecular response, with no signs of pleural effusion. Considering the growing availability of new and more potent tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) it is important for the clinician to be aware of the possible inhibitory effects of these molecules against other members of the tyrosine kinase family. Safety of TKI in frail and elderly patients with CML is a fundamental goal. The results achieved in our patient show that nilotinib is safe and effective even when used as third line therapy.


Chronic Myeloid Leukemia; Nilotinib; Dasatinib; Imatinib; Safety

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