Imatinib, a Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a highly effective therapy for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Despite durable responses in most chronic phase patients, relapses have been observed and are much more prevalent in patients with advanced disease. The most common mechanism of acquired imatinib resistance has been traced to Bcr-Abl kinase domain mutations with decreased imatinib sensitivity. Thus, alternate Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitors that have activity against imatinib-resistant mutants would be useful for patients who relapse on imatinib therapy. Two such Bcr-Abl inhibitors are currently being evaluated in clinical trials: the improved potency, selective Abl inhibitor AMN107 and the highly potent dual Src/Abl inhibitor BMS-354825. In the current article, we compared imatinib, AMN107, and BMS-354825 in cellular and biochemical assays against a panel of 16 kinase domain mutants representing >90% of clinical isolates. We report that AMN107 and BMS-354825 are 20-fold and 325-fold more potent than imatinib against cells expressing wild-type Bcr-Abl and that similar improvements are maintained for all imatinib-resistant mutants tested, with the exception of T315I. Thus, both inhibitors hold promise for treating imatinib-refractory CML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research