Imatinib trough plasma levels do not correlate with the response to therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in routine clinical setting
Using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we assessed trough imatinib plasma levels in 68 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who responded or not to standard-dose imatinib, after at least 12 months' treatment. Mean trough imatinib plasma levels were significantly higher in the group with complete cytogenetic response (56 patients) than in the group without (12 patients; P = .03) and higher in the group with major molecular response (MMR) than in the group without (34 patients [1452 +/- 649 ng/mL] versus 34 patients [869 +/- 427 ng/mL]; P < .001). Regarding trough imatinib plasma levels and their discrimination potential for MMR, the area under receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.775, with best sensitivity (77%) and specificity (71%) at a plasma threshold of 1002 ng/mL. Therefore, monitoring of imatinib plasma levels could be very useful for the management of patients with CML or should at least be checked in the case of treatment failure or suboptimal response.