Part 1 of a 2 Part Article: A Comprehensive Review of Imatinib Mesylate (Gleevec) for Dermatological Diseases

February 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 2 | Original Article | 117 | Copyright © February 2006

Noah Scheinfeld MD

Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec, also known as STI-571), is an approved oral treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). It blocks the activity of Abelson cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase (ABL), c-Kit and the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). As an inhibitor of PDGFR, imatinib mesylate appears to have utility in the treatment of a variety of dermatological diseases. Imatinib has been reported to be an effective treatment for FIP1L1-PDGFR?+ mast cell disease, hypereosinophilic syndrome, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. One report notes its effectiveness for treating HIV related Kaposi’s sarcoma; imatinib has not been effective for the treatment of melanoma.