The approval of imatinib mesylate (Gleeve) in 2001 has added a new class of drugs to the systemic treatment of cancer: that of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Imatinib inhibits autophosphorylation of specific proteins involved in oncogenesis such as the BCR-ABL fusion protein (expressed in Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia), c-KIT (expressed in gastrointestinal stromal tumors; GIST) and the plateletderived growth factor receptor (PDGFR; i.e. expressed in GIST and several sarcomas). After a decade of therapeutic use, imatinib has proven to be a highly effective targeted agent with a median overall survival in advanced GIST patients close to 5 years.

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J. Verweij (Jaap)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Eechoute, K. (2012, April 25). Towards a pharmacologically guided individualization of imatinib and sunitnib therapy . Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from