Tyrosine kinase inhibitors in acute and chronic leukemias

Maro Ohanian, Jorge Cortes, Hagop Kantarjian, Elias Jabbour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Introduction: Since the initial approval of imatinib much has been learned about its resistance mechanisms, and efforts have continued to improve upon BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Targeted therapy with TKIs has continued to be an area of active research and development in the care of acute and chronic leukemia patients. Areas covered: This article reviews current approved and investigational TKI treatments for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph + ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Expert opinion: There are now more potent BCR-ABL TKIs approved, which allow for additional options when determining front-line and second-line CML and Ph + ALL treatments. The T315I mutation is an ever-present challenge. Ponatinib, a pan BCR-ABL TKI, while still under investigation, is very hopeful with its ability to overcome T315I mutations in resistant CML and Ph + ALL patients. Because nilotinib and dasatinib have not been directly compared, at present we recommend selecting one or the other based on the side-effect profile, drug interactions, patient comorbidities, and mutational status. FLT-3 inhibition is of particular interest in AML patients with FLT-3 internal tandem duplication mutations; this type of targeted therapy continues to be studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-938
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • Philadelphia-chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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