Striving to achieve safe, permanent treatment discontinuation in chronic myeloid leukemia
Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive
Small clinical studies have found that patients with idealized response to imatinib can sustain long-lasting responses after treatment discontinuation, suggesting that these patients may be effectively "cured" of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Treatment discontinuation is not presently considered routine practice and is not recommended outside the context of clinical research. Many questions remain regarding "cure" in CML: how "cure" is defined, what factors predict successful treatment discontinuation, and what management strategies are the most appropriate post-discontinuation, especially when molecular relapse occurs. This review addresses these issues and discusses the current knowledge regarding treatment discontinuation and a potential for "cure" of CML.