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Nilotinib as an alternate medication for Imatinib-Resistant CML

Author: Asuka Sui
by Asuka Sui
Posted: Jul 08, 2019
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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and its treatment with Nilotinib / Tasigna

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia or CML forms from the clonal expansion of stem cells (pluripotent hematopoietic) that contains an active fusion gene / protein known as BCR/ABL. This protein shows organized tyrosine activity and enables the leukemic cells to grow and also provide resistance to apoptosis.

CML was considered to be a fatal disorder before Imatinib (Brand Gleevec) was used a target therapy medication for its treatment. The use of Imatinib essentially revolutionised targeted cancer therapy as it only attacked the cancer phenotype that were linked to BCR/ABL protein while keeping normal features unharmed.

However, a small percentage of CML patient have shown resistance to the Imatinib medication and as a result taking Imatinib may result in increased toxicity for them. To counter the Imatinib-Resistant CML, several medications (which were used as tyrosine kinase inhibitor or TKI) were tested.

The advantages of such medications over Imatinib such as Tasigna (Generic Nilotinib) may become the recommended medication.

Nilotinib / Tasigna cost information

Tasigna is more potent than Imatinib against CML cells by a factor of 20 to 50. Studies show that prescribing TKIs such as for improving the overall survival of CML patients.

Nilotinib (Tasigna by Novartis Pharmaceuticals) was developed to have a similar structure to 30 fold higher potency against the BCR/ABL protein. It was approved for the treatment of CML patients and for those patients who have shown intolerance to other therapies.

In a study conducted to study the effects of Nilotinib on CML, it was found that:

  • Some common adverse effects included rashes, transient indirect hyperbilirubinemia and myelosuppression
  • Out of the 33 patients with a blastic stage of the disease: 13 patients showed hematologic responses and 9 patients showed cytogenic responses
  • Out of the 46 patients with an accelerated stage of the disease: 33 patients showed hematologic responses and 22 patients showed cytogenetic responses
  • 11 out of 12 patients with the chronic phase of the disease showed a complete hematologic remission

Based on the above results it was concluded that Nilotinib / Tasigna medication has a safer and more active profile in treating Imatinib-resistant CML.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nilotnib / Tasigna medication

How does Tasigna work?

Tasigna (generic Nilotinib) functions by attacking the BCR/ABL protein that enables the growth of leukemic cells.

What are the nilotinib / tasigna side effects?

Nilotinib side effects generally vary from one patient to another based on their condition. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • rashes and sudden hair loss
  • night sweats and tiredness
  • joint pains
  • headaches
  • constant sneezing with a running nose
  • constant coughing with a sore throat

Can Nilotinb / Tasigna medication be used for treating Parkinson’s?

Potential use of Nilotinib in the treatment of Parkinson’s

Nilotinib cost information

The information provided on the page is meant for the purpose of being helpful and educational. It should not be considered as medical advice.


About the Author

Cancer awareness team working for patients in term of Treatment, Medication globally.

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Author: Asuka Sui

Asuka Sui

Member since: Jun 21, 2019
Published articles: 5

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