2015 Volume 38 Issue 5 Pages 645-654
Imatinib, nilotinib, and dasatinib are tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that have become first-line treatments for Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). According to European LeukemiaNet recommendations, the clinical response of CML patients receiving TKI therapy should be evaluated after 3, 6, and 12 months. For patients not achieving a satisfactory response within 3 months, the mean plasma concentration for the three months of TKI administration must be considered. In TKI therapy for CML patients, therapeutic drug monitoring is a new strategy for dosage optimization to obtain a faster and more effective clinical response. The imatinib plasma trough concentration (C0) should be set above 1000 ng/mL to obtain a response and below 3000 ng/mL to avoid serious adverse events such as neutropenia. For patients with a UGT1A1*6/*6, *6/*28, or *28/*28 genotype initially administered 300–400 mg/d, a target nilotinib C0 of 500 ng/mL is recommended to prevent elevation of bilirubin levels, whereas for patients with the UGT1A1*1 allele initially administered 600 mg/d, a target nilotinib C0 of 800 ng/mL is recommended. For dasatinib, it is recommended that a higher Cmax or C2 (above 50 ng/mL) to obtain a clinical response and a lower C0 (less than 2.5 ng/mL) to avoid pleural effusion be maintained by once daily administration of dasatinib. Although at present clinicians consider the next pharmacotherapy from clinical responses (efficacy/toxicity) obtained by a fixed dosage of TKI, the TKI dosage should be adjusted based on target plasma concentrations to maximize the efficacy and to minimize the incidence of adverse events.