Targeted Therapies

  • Author: Gail Wilkes, RNC, ANP-BC, MS, AOCN® (More Info)
  • Section Editor: Marlene SanFilippo, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, AOCNP®
  • Editors In Chief: Dawn Camp-Sorrell, MSN, FNP, AOCN®; Rebecca Hawkins, MSN, ANP, AOCN®, ACHPN
  • Last Reviewed: 7/9/18 (What's New)


  • Fusion protein BCR-ABL, which results from a translocation called the Philadelphia chromosome, is present in most patients with CML and some patients with ALL (Figure 6)
  • The first small molecule–targeted therapy agent was imatinib mesylate (aimed at BCR-ABL), which helped revolutionize targeted therapy in cancer care
  • Multiple generations of agents targeting BCR-ABL are FDA approved and can be used when resistance to 1 drug develops (Table 13, Table 14, Table 15, Table 16)

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