Exploring Patient Decision Making Regarding Discontinuation of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Published online

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The standard treatment for chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is lifelong oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that some patients with a sustained deep molecular response to TKI therapy can safely stop therapy and remain in a treatment-free remission. TKI discontinuation is now offered to select patients in routine clinical care. In order to better support patient decision making, we explored patients' views on TKI discontinuation and the factors patients consider when making this decision. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients were recruited from three U.S. academic cancer centers. Qualitative interviews were recorded, transcribed, and content analyzed. RESULTS: We interviewed 22 patients, half of whom wanted to try TKI discontinuation. Eleven factors relevant to the decision emerged, and patients weighed these factors differently. Commonly mentioned factors included perceived risk of relapse, TKI side effects, financial considerations, polypharmacy, and willingness to change something that was working (status quo). There were notable differences in patients' understanding of the likelihood of achieving a treatment-free remission, with patients who did not want to stop TKIs more accurately reporting the risk of relapse than patients who wanted to stop. CONCLUSION: This is a novel decision that will become more common as the prevalence of patients with well-controlled CML continues to increase. These results highlight the need for patient education and decision support so that patients and providers can make shared decisions that are informed and values based. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The standard treatment for chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is lifelong oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Clinical trials have shown that some patients with a sustained deep molecular response to TKI therapy can safely stop therapy and remain in a treatment-free remission. TKI discontinuation is now being offered to patients outside of clinical trials. This study explored factors that patients who are eligible to try TKI discontinuation considered when making this decision. Factors relevant to the decision included risk of relapse, side effects, financial considerations, polypharmacy, and willingness to change something that was working. This is a novel decision that will become more common as the prevalence of patients with well-controlled CML continues to increase. These results highlight the need for decision support and outline the factors that should be included so that patients and providers can make shared decisions that are informed and values based.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flynn, KE; Myers, JM; D'Souza, A; Schiffer, CA; Thompson, JE; Atallah, E

Published Date

  • April 3, 2019

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 30944185

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30944185

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1549-490X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0831

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States