HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY ON GLEEVEC (IMATINIB)
Ten patients receiving Gleevec (Imatinib), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for chronic myeloid leukemia CML) or gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), developed significant left ventricular ejection fraction reduction and congestive heart failure (CHF). It is hypothesized that Gleevec inhibits heart cell kinase resulting in death of some heart cells. It is recommended that ? Any patients using GLEEVEC*, with known cardiac disease or risk factors for cardiac failure, should be monitored carefully. ? Any patient using GLEEVEC* who has symptoms or signs suggestive of Congestive Heart Failure (i.e., edema, dyspnea, pleural effusion or pericardial effusion) should receive timely and thorough evaluation and treatment. ? In patients with known underlying heart disease or in elderly patients, a baseline evaluation of Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction is recommended prior to initiation of GLEEVEC* therapy.