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Response to imatinib mesylate in patients with chronic myeloproliferative diseases with rearrangements of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta.

Apperley J.F., Gardembas M., Melo J.V., Russell-Jones R., Bain B.J., Baxter E.J., Chase A., Chessells J.M., Colombat M., Dearden C.E., Dimitrijevic S., Mahon F.-X., Marin D., Nikolova Z., Olavarria E., Silberman S., Schultheis B., Cross N.C.P., Goldman J.M.

BACKGROUND: A small proportion of patients with chronic myeloproliferative diseases have constitutive activation of the gene for platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB), which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase. The gene is located on chromosome 5q33, and the activation is usually caused by a t(5;12)(q33;p13) translocation associated with an ETV6-PDGFRB fusion gene. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate specifically inhibits ABL, PDGFR, and KIT kinases and has impressive clinical efficacy in BCR-ABL-positive chronic myeloid leukemia. METHODS: We treated four patients who had chronic myeloproliferative diseases and chromosomal translocations involving 5q33 with imatinib mesylate (400 mg daily). Three of the four patients presented with leukocytosis and eosinophilia; their leukemia cells carried the ETV6-PDGFRB fusion gene. The fourth patient had leukocytosis, eosinophilia, and a t(5;12) translocation involving PDGFRB and an unknown partner gene; he also had extensive raised, ulcerated skin lesions that had been present for a long time. RESULTS: In all four patients, a normal blood count was achieved within four weeks after treatment began. In the patient with skin disease, the lesions began to resolve shortly after treatment began. The t(5;12) translocation was undetectable by 12 weeks in three patients and by 36 weeks in the fourth patient. In the three patients with the ETV6-PDGFRB fusion gene, the transcript level decreased, and in one patient, it became undetectable by 36 weeks. All responses were durable at 9 to 12 months of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Imatinib mesylate induces durable responses in patients with chronic myeloproliferative diseases associated with activation of PDGFRB.

N. Engl. J. Med. 347:481-487(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]