Background: Treatment-free remission (TFR), the ability to maintain a molecular response (MR), occurs in approximately 50% of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Methods: A multicenter phase 2 trial (Delightedly Overcome CML Expert Stop TKI Trial: DOMEST Trial) was conducted to test the safety and efficacy of discontinuing imatinib. Patients with CML with a sustained MR of 4.0 or MR4.0-equivalent for at least 2 years and confirmed MR4.0 at the beginning of the study were enrolled. In the TFR phase, the international scale (IS) was regularly monitored by IS-PCR testing. Molecular recurrence was defined as the loss of MR4.0. Recurrent patients were immediately treated with dasatinib or other TKIs including imatinib. Results: Of 110 enrolled patients, 99 were evaluable. The median time from diagnosis to discontinuation of imatinib was 103 months, and the median duration of imatinib therapy was 100 months. Molecular recurrence-free survival rates were 69.6%, 68.6% and 64.3% at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. After discontinuation of imatinib therapy, 26 patients showed molecular recurrence, and 25 re-achieved deep MR after dasatinib treatment. Molecular response MR4.0 was achieved in 23 patients within 6 months and 25 patients within 12 months. Multivariate analysis revealed that a longer time from diagnosis to discontinuation of imatinib therapy (p = 0.0002) and long duration of imatinib therapy (p = 0.0029) predicted a favorable prognosis. Conclusions: This DOMEST Trial showed the feasibility of TKI discontinuation in a Japanese clinical setting.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia
- Deep molecular response
- Molecular recurrence-free survival
- Treatment-free remission
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