Blood cancers

Ponatinib gets additional PBS indication for ALL

Dr Chun Yew Fong

The tyrosine kinase inhibitor ponatinib is now listed on the PBS for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph+ ALL).

Ponatinib has an Authority Required listing from 1 September for management of patients with Ph+ ALL who have failed or are intolerant to dasatinib but do not have the T315I mutation.

The drug has been available on the PBS for some time for treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) and the new listing extends the indication to ALL patients who have the Ph+ mutation, according to Dr Chun Yew Fong, a senior clinical haematologist and the medical lead for acute leukaemias and myelodysplastic syndromes at Austin Health, Melbourne.

He told the limbic that the listing was a welcome decision that would provide a valuable treatment option for ALL patients who had become unresponsive to other therapies.

“About three or four out of ten patients with Philadelphia chromosome–positive ALL have this T315I mutation that enables the cancer to outsmart other treatments,” he said

“Pontinib can re-induce remission  and provide longstanding, durable responses for patients,” he added.

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