Background: The failure of imatinib therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia
(CML) is associated with the presence of leukemic stem cell (LSC), and the altered LSC level was reported
to occur earlier in the progression of CML.
Objective: The study aimed to assess the association between the level of LSC and treatment response
among CML patients treated with imatinib mesylate.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Saiful Anwar Hospital. All participants were divided
into two groups, response and non-response group. To assess the level of LSC, flow cytometry
was conducted conforming with BD Bioscience. The association and effect estimates were determined
using multiple logistic regression.
Results and Discussion: A total of 29 response and non-response CML patients treated with imatinib
therapy were recruited for our study. After six months of imatinib therapy, we found that elevated levels
of leukocytes, thrombocytes, basophils, and blast cells were associated with treatment failure
among CML patients treated with imatinib. Moreover, we also found that the LSC level was observed
significantly higher in the non-response group compared to the response group among CML patients
treated with imatinib.
Conclusion: Our study reveals that the elevated level of LSC is considered as an important factor to
predict the failure of imatinib therapy among CML patients.