The impact of imatinib mesylate (IM) treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) on subsequent allogeneic transplantation is uncertain. To better understand this relationship, we retrospectively compared 145 patients with CML receiving IM for a minimum of 3 months before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) to 231 patients with CML who did not. IM treatment was associated with no increase in early hepatotoxicity or engraftment delay after HCT compared with the historical cohort. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in the IM-treated cohort compared with the historical cohort with regard to overall survival, disease-free survival, relapse, and nonrelapse mortality. For chronic-phase (CP) patients, IM response prior to HCT was associated with post-HCT outcome. Patients who underwent transplantation in CP with a suboptimal response or a loss of response on IM had a statistically significant higher hazard of mortality when compared with CP patients who achieved a complete cytogenetic response (CCR) or major cytogenetic response (MCR) on IM (HR=5.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-25.05, P=.03). These data indicate that pre-HCT IM is not associated with increased transplant-related morbidity (TRM) or poorer outcomes. However, patients with a suboptimal or loss of IM response before HCT do worse, suggesting a more aggressive disease course for these patients.
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