Positive response to imatinib mesylate therapy for childhood chronic myeloid leukemia.


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is rare in the pediatric population, accounting for 2-3% of childhood leukemia cases, with an annual incidence of one case per million children. The low toxicity profile of imatinib mesylate has led to its approval as a front-line therapy in children for whom interferon treatment has failed or who have relapsed after allogeneic transplantation. We describe the positive responses of 2 children (case 1 - from a 7-year-old male since May 2005; case 2 - from a 5-year-old female since June 2006) with Philadelphia-positive chromosome CML treated with imatinib (300 mg/day, orally) for up to 28 months, as evaluated by morphological, cytogenetic, and molecular approaches. Our patients are alive, are in the chronic phase, and are in continuous morphological complete remission.