Gilteritinib for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia
Introduction: The receptor tyrosine kinase FLT3 is the most commonly mutated gene in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). FLT3-internal tandem duplication mutations are associated with an increased risk of relapse, and a number of small molecule inhibitors of FLT3 have been developed. The highly potent and selective FLT3 kinase inhibitor gilteritinib is the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved as monotherapy for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory FLT3-mutated AML.
Areas covered: We review the biology and prognostic significance of FLT3 mutations in AML and discuss the pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and toxicity profile of gilteritinib. We also summarize important differences among the various FLT3 inhibitors that are currently approved or under development and highlight areas of ongoing research.
Expert opinion: Gilteritinib has been shown to improve survival compared to salvage chemotherapy in relapsed and/or refractory FLT3-mutated AML. Gilteritinib is orally available with a favorable toxicity profile and as such is quickly becoming the standard of care for this patient population. Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating gilteritinib in combination with frontline chemotherapy, in combination with other agents such as venetoclax and azacitidine for patients who are ineligible for standard induction therapy, and as a maintenance agent.