The tyrosine kinase (TK) inhibitor (TKI) imatinib provides a highly effective treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) targeting at the causative oncogenic TK BCR-ABL1. However, imatinib exerts off-target effects by inhibiting other TKs that are involved, e.g., in bone metabolism. Clinically, CML patients on imatinib exhibit altered bone metabolism as a side effect, which translates into linear growth failure in pediatric patients. As TKI treatment might be necessary for the whole life, long-term side effects exerted on bone and other developing organs in children are of major concern and not yet studied systematically. Here, we describe a new juvenile rat model to face this challenge. The established model mimics perfectly long-term side effects of TKI exposure on the growing bone in a developmental stage-dependent fashion. Thus, longitudinal growth impairment observed clinically in children could be unequivocally modeled and confirmed. In a “bench-to-bedside” manner, we also demonstrate that this juvenile animal model predicts side effects of newer treatment strategies by second generation TKIs or modified treatment schedules (continuous vs. intermittent treatment) to minimize side effects. We conclude that the results generated by this juvenile animal model can be directly used in the clinic to optimize treatment algorithms in pediatric patients.
Part of the book: Experimental Animal Models of Human Diseases