With treatment-free remission (TFR) rapidly becoming the ultimate goal of therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), there is a need to develop strategies to maximize sustained TFR by improving our understanding of its key determinants. Chronic-phase CML patients attempting TFR were evaluated to identify the impact of multiple variables on the probability of sustained TFR. Early molecular response dynamics were included as a predictive variable, assessed by calculating the patient-specific halving time of BCR-ABL1 after commencing tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Overall, 115 patients attempted TFR and had ≥12 months of follow-up. The probability of sustained TFR, defined as remaining in major molecular response off TKI therapy for 12 months, was 55%. The time taken for the BCR-ABL1 value to halve was the strongest independent predictor of sustained TFR: 80% in patients with a halving time of <9.35 days (first quartile) compared with only 4% if the halving time was >21.85 days (last quartile) (P < .001). The e14a2 BCR-ABL1 transcript type and duration of TKI exposure before attempting TFR were also independent predictors of sustained TFR. However, the BCR-ABL1 value measured at 3 months of TKI was not an independent predictor of sustained TFR. A more rapid initial BCR-ABL1 decline after commencing TKI also correlated with an increased likelihood of achieving TFR eligibility. The association between sustained TFR and the time taken for BCR-ABL1 to halve after commencing TKI was validated using an independent dataset. These data support the critical importance of the initial kinetics of BCR-ABL1 decline for long-term outcomes. Key Points: • Rate of reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts over the first 3 months of therapy is a strong predictor of sustained TFR. • Slower rates of BCR-ABL1 decline correlate with longer duration of drug exposure to become eligible for a TFR attempt.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Mar 2021|