Imatinib treatment: Specific issues related to safety, fertility, and pregnancy
Imatinib (Gleevec) (formerly STI571) has demonstrated high levels of efficacy in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and has been used in more than 12,000 patients participating in clinical trials. Experience from clinical trials with imatinib has largely demonstrated the drug to be well tolerated in humans. Common side effects, usually manageable, include nausea, rash, superficial edema, myelosuppression, muscle cramps, and elevated liver transaminases. With longer follow-up and with further experience with the treatment of patients outside of clinical trials, we are able to report on rarer toxicities, the identification of certain predictors of common toxicities, and the clinical experience with male fertility and pregnancy outcomes.