ASH 2015 Coverage: Emerging Approaches for Treatment-Resistant CML Patients | Transcript | Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) | Patient Power


ASH 2015 Coverage: Emerging Approaches for Treatment-Resistant CML Patients

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Carol Preston:

Hello and welcome.  I'm Carol Preston on location at ASH, the American Society of Hematology meeting in Orlando, Florida—largest blood cancer meeting on the planet.  Researchers from all over the globe are here to present and listen to the latest findings in research and give patients hope for if not cures wonderful new treatments. 

And we want to talk about CML, chronic myeloid leukemia.  Would you introduce yourself, please?  

Dr. Kolibaba:

Sure.  I'm Dr. Kathryn Kolibaba.  I practice at Compass Oncology in Vancouver, Washington, as part of US Oncology Research. 

Carol Preston:

CML, lot of conversation a few years back with imatinib (Gleevec).  Everyone thought it was cured, but we're still doing work in that area.  

Dr. Kolibaba:

We are.  We are.  So Gleevec is a great answer for about 80 percent of CML patients, and that leaves a substantial number of people who need a drug, and if their disease isn't controlled by Gleevec or if they have side effects from Gleevec that they can't manage.  So there are several other FDA-approved drugs, and there are a variety of studies trying to find the best way that these should be utilized.  And we're looking at quality of life and managing resistant patients, and we don't yet have a drug without side effects, so there's always room for improvement. 

Carol Preston:

So what are you looking at then for CML for these 20 percent that don't respond?  

Dr. Kolibaba:

Right.  Right.  So there are a group of drugs called second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and there are two of those that are FDA approved.  And then we also have two drugs approved for CML that has acquired a rare mutation, the T315i is a known difficult category, and ponatinib (Iclusig) was FDA approved to help with that. 

But we do have patients who still have trouble because of side effects of drugs, and so there's a new tyrosine kinase presented at the meeting this year, ABL001. And we look forward to seeing how that performs in clinical trials that are ongoing.  

Carol Preston:

From the data you've seen so far, how is that looking?  

Dr. Kolibaba:

It's very, very promising.  And as we hope with the application of science once there's one drug FDA approved we hope that chemists will be able to make it better, to make it more specific, to find the reasons the other drugs had side effects and work around those in a structural, chemical way.  So there's great hope there. 

Carol Preston:

This era of molecular medicine precision oncology seems to revolve heavily around oral medications.  Do you see a day when chemotherapy becomes a dinosaur?  

Dr. Kolibaba:

I do, and I hope it's not just that we've switched to oral but that we're curing disease so well that we're not having patients undergo treatment on and on and on. 

Carol Preston:

So for CML patients who've got the—that stubborn 20 percent cadre, what do you want them to know?  What is the message for them?  

Dr. Kolibaba:

Oh, they need to know we know they're there, and we're working hard to find an answers.  

Carol Preston:

Dr. Kathryn Kolibaba, thank you so much for the work that you do for US Oncology and for your patients.  I'm Carol Preston at ASH.  Thanks for watching.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on January 27, 2016