Guidance on the Use of Imatinib for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (TA70)

Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 70

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

NOTE: This guidance replaces Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 50 issued in September 2002.

The Institute reviews each piece of guidance it issues.


This guidance has been partially updated by NICE Technology Appraisal No. 241 and No. 251. The recommendations that have been updated are indicated in section 1 below. See TA241 ( and TA251 ( for details of the new recommendations and evidence considered.

1. Guidance

1.1 This recommendation has been updated and replaced by NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance 251.

1.2 Imatinib is recommended as an option for the treatment of people with Philadelphia-chromosome-positive CML who initially present in the accelerated phase or with blast crisis. Additionally, imatinib is recommended as an option for people who present in the chronic phase and then progress to the accelerated phase or blast crisis if they have not received imatinib previously.

1.3 This recommendation has been updated and replaced by NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance 241.

1.4 For people in chronic-phase CML who are currently receiving interferon alpha (IFN-α) as first-line treatment, the decision about whether to change to imatinib should be informed by the response of the disease to current treatment and by the tolerance of the person to IFN-α. This decision should be made after informed discussion between the person with CML and the clinician responsible for treatment, taking full account of the evidence on the risks and benefits of imatinib and the wishes of the person.

The guidance shown above constitutes Section 1 of the full document. A copy of the full document and a summary of the evidence is available on the Internet at

Copies of the document can also be obtained by contacting 0845 003 7783 or emailing or emailing and quoting reference number N0340.

This guidance represents the view of the Institute which was arrived at after careful consideration of the available evidence. Health professionals are expected to fully take it into account when exercising their clinical judgement. This guidance does not, however, override the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions in the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

© Copyright National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved. This material may be freely reproduced for educational and not for profit purposes within the NHS. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of the Institute.

Enquiries concerning the guidance should be addressed to: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, MidCity Place, 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NA. email:

Guidance on the Use of Imatinib for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia.
Issue Date: October 2003
Review Date: September 2006

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