Sensitivity to the abl inhibitor STI571 in fresh leukaemic cells obtained from chronic myelogenous leukaemia patients in different stages of disease


Carlo Gambacorti MD, Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy. E-mail:


STI571 (CGP57148B) is an inhibitor of BCR/ABL, the cause of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). A difference exists between CML patients in chronic phase, in which responses to STI571are durable, and patients in blast crisis, who generally experience only transient responses. Leukaemic cells from six CML patients from whom samples could be obtained during chronic phase and at the time of blast crisis (BC) were compared for sensitivity to STI571, using an in vitro assay. BC samples showed a sensitivity similar to that obtained during chronic phase, suggesting that no substantial intrinsic resistance to STI571 was present in BC.