This study is comparing the effectiveness of the investigational drug ponatinib with the established drug imatinib for treating patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase who have not yet received treatment for the disease. Imatinib is the standard therapy for CML, but some patients eventually develop resistance to this treatment.
Ponatinib is similar to imatinib in that it decreases the number of blood cells in the body that contain the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome, the genetic defect associated with CML. However, ponatinib has a slightly different structure than imatinib, and it is especially effective in patients who have a specific genetic abnormality (called the T315I mutation) in the protein produced by the Ph chromosome.
In this study, patients newly diagnosed with CML will be randomly assigned to receive either ponatinib or imatinib. Both drugs are taken orally (by mouth).