About 25 percent of adults and only about 3 percent of children who have ALL have a subtype called “Ph-positive ALL” (also known as either “Ph+ or Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL.”) Patients with this subtype of ALL have a chromosome alteration that results in a specific mutation of the BCR-ABL gene.
Induction Therapy. Ph-positive ALL may be treated with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®), dasatinib (Sprycel®), nilotinib (Tasigna®) or ponatinib (Iclusig®). Other chemotherapy drugs will be used as well. Gleevec, Sprycel, Tasigna and Iclusig are given by mouth.
Post-Remission Therapy. During consolidation and maintenance therapy, Gleevec, Sprycel, Tasigna or Iclusig is given with other drugs. Usually people with Ph-positive ALL stay on Gleevec, Sprycel, Tasigna or Iclusig after maintenance chemotherapy is completed.