Novartis announced today that following a priority review, the FDA has approved an update to the Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) tablets label to recommend 36 months of treatment after surgery for adult patients with KIT (CD117)-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) who met the risk of recurrence inclusion criteria of the pivotal trial. This treatment regimen has been shown to improve recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) for KIT+ GIST patients compared to 12 months of treatment.
The US approval was based on data from an international, multicenter, open-label, Phase III clinical trial. Results of the study showed that 36 months of Gleevec treatment significantly prolonged RFS compared to 12 months of Gleevec treatment, which was a 54% reduction in the risk of recurrence (p<0.0001). In addition, 36 months of Gleevec treatment resulted in a 55% reduction in the risk of death compared to one year of treatment (p0.0187). The median time of follow-up was 42 months for RFS and 48 months for OS.
“This approval represents another important step in the progress of KIT+ GIST treatment that began a decade ago when Gleevec was first approved to treat metastatic KIT+ GIST,” said Herve Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology. “With the significant survival benefit resulting from three years of adjuvant treatment, GIST patients now have a more effective regimen to help manage their disease.”