Clinical trials have formally demonstrated that in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) who achieved and maintained deep molecular responses could discontinue their treatment after several years without facing overt signs of disease relapse in approximately 50% of the cases. In patients with a molecular relapse, prompt re-introduction of TKI therapy was able to rapidly restore deep molecular responses. The concept of a lifelong therapy with TKI has thus been challenged and treatment-free remission (TFR) strategies will soon integrate clinical practice, providing that safe recommendations will be established. In this article, we give an update on TKI discontinuation studies in CML and we also provide an overview of upcoming TFR clinical and biological challenges.
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