Highlights from

ASH 2020

62nd Annual Meeting & Exposition of the American Society of Hematology

Virtual 5 - 8 December 2020

New therapy option emerges for chronic myeloid leukaemia patients

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patients who have failed previous tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) now have another option available. Asciminib has demonstrated adequate safety and efficacy in clinical trials. Here, investigators share the first real-world evidence gathered from CML patients treated with asciminib [1].

Asciminib is a first-in-class BCR-ABL1 inhibitor, specifically targeting the ABL myristoyl pocket. Investigators administered asciminib under Novartis’ managed access program to 31 CML patients who had failed previous TKIs. Of these 31 patients, 22 were intolerant and 9 were resistant to TKIs. Prior to treatment with asciminib, 28 patients had received 3 or more TKIs. The median dose of asciminib was 80 mg (40 mg administered twice daily), and the median time on the drug was 35 weeks.

Compared to other TKIs, the adverse events reported with asciminib were of a less severe grade and no vascular events occurred. Presenting author Dr Alejandro Luna (Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Spain) noted that there was a decrease in events which commonly result in withdrawal of the drug – diarrhoea, rash, and oedema – compared with previous TKI treatment. Moreover, fewer ischemic events and pleural effusions occurred. Thrombocytopenia, anaemia, and fatigue comprised the most common side effects. No patients discontinued due to adverse events. After a median follow-up period of 40 weeks, 27 patients (87.1%) continued with asciminib. Of the remaining patients, 2 discontinued therapy because they had progressed to the blastic phase and the other 2 discontinued due to lack of efficacy.

Based on the performance of asciminib in this real-life analysis, the investigators recommend its use in clinical practice for CML patients who have resistance or intolerance to other TKIs.

  1. Luna A, et al. Safety and Efficacy Profile of Asciminib As Treatment in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients after Several Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitors Failure. 62nd ASH Annual Meeting, 5-8 December 2020. Abstract 1241.

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