A drug used to treat certain types of leukemia and other blood cancers, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, skin tumors called dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and a rare condition called systemic mastocytosis. It is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Imatinib mesylate blocks certain proteins made by the BCR-ABL, PDGFR, or c-KIT oncogene, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Imatinib mesylate is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Gleevec and STI571. US Brand Name(s): Gleevec. FDA Approved: Yes
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Imatinib is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and a number of other malignancies. In 2006 the FDA expended approved use to include dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD), and aggressive systemic mastocytosis (ASM).
Imatinib mesylate is approved to treat:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults and children that is Philadelphia chromosome positive. In adults, it is used for disease that has recurred (come back) or is refractory (does not respond to treatment). In children, it is used with chemotherapy as the first treatment after the disease is diagnosed.
- Chronic eosinophilic leukemia or hypereosinophilic syndrome in adults.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia that is Philadelphia chromosome positive.
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans in adults whose disease is recurrent, metastatic, and/or cannot be removed by surgery.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) that is KIT positive and cannot be removed by surgery and/or has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body). It is also used after surgery to completely remove the tumor in adults with KIT-positive disease.
- Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms in adults.
- Systemic mastocytosis that is aggressive and has a certain mutation in the c-KIT gene.
Imatinib mesylate is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer.