Predictors of primary imatinib resistance in chronic myelogenous leukemia are distinct from those in secondary imatinib resistance

Wenyong W. Zhang, Jorge E. Cortes, Hui Yao, Li Zhang, Neelima G. Reddy, Elias Jabbour, Hagop M. Kantarjian, Dan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Purpose: A subset of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) do not respond to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib mesylate. Such primary imatinib resistance is distinguished from secondary resistance which reemerges after attainment of cytogenetic remission. Patients and Methods: We studied gene expression patterns in total WBCs using a panel of 21 genes previously implicated in TKI handling, resistance, or progression comparing patients who had newly diagnosed TKI-naive CML that had optimal (n = 41), or suboptimal (n = 7) responses to imatinib, or primary resistance (n = 20). Expression patterns were compared to those in secondary TKI-resistant chronic phase CML without ABL1 kinase domain mutations (n = 29), and to lymphoid (n = 15) or myeloid blast phase disease (n = 12). Results: Fifteen genes in the panel distinguished blast phase from chronic phase disease, and 12 genes distinguished newly diagnosed CML from TKI-resistant CML without ABL1 kinase domain mutations, but only a single gene, prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 1/cyclooxgenase 1 (PTGS1/COX1; P = .005), differentiated imatinib-responsive from primary imatinib-resistant CML. The association of primary imatinib resistance with higher transcript levels of the drug metabolism gene PTGS1 was confirmed in a separate data set of 68 newly diagnosed, imatinib-treated CML (P = .008). In contrast, up to 11 different genes were identified in a multivariate model that optimally discriminated secondary imatinib resistance lacking ABL1 kinase domain mutation from imatinib-responsive cases, likely related to the more complex pathogenesis of secondary resistance. Conclusion: Gene expression profiling of CML at diagnosis for PTGS1 may be useful in predicting imatinib response and in selecting alternate therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3642-3649
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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