The bcr–abl oncogene, present in 95% of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), has been implicated as the cause of this disease. A compound, designed to inhibit the Abl protein tyrosine kinase, was evaluated for its effects on cells containing the Bcr–Abl fusion protein. Cellular proliferation and tumor formation by Bcr–Abl–expressing cells were specifically inhibited by this compound. In colony–forming assays of peripheral blood or bone marrow from patients with CML, there was a 92–98% decrease in the number of bcr–abl colonies formed but no inhibition of normal colony formation. This compound may be useful in the treatment of bcr–abl–positive leukemias.
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