Impact of tyrosine kinase inhibitors on glucose control and insulin regulation in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia

Janssen, Lando; Hopman, Maria T.E.; Swaans, Greetje J.A.; Allard, Neeltje A.E.; Boss, Marti; Lobeek, Daphne; Gotthardt, Martin; Schirris, Tom J.J.; Blijlevens, Nicole M.A.; Timmers, Silvie


Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), especially nilotinib, often results in hyperglycemia, which may further increase cardiovascular disease risk in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The mechanism underlying the TKI-induced glucose dysregulation is not clear. TKIs are suggested to affect insulin secretion but also insulin sensitivity of peripheral tissue has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of TKI-induced hyperglycemia. Here, we aimed to assess whether skeletal muscle glucose uptake and insulin responses are altered in nondiabetic patients with CML receiving TKI treatment. After a glycogen-depleted exercise bout, an intravenous glucose bolus (0.3 g/kg body weight) was administered to monitor 2-h glucose tolerance and insulin response in 14 patients with CML receiving nilotinib, 14 patients with CML receiving imatinib, and 14 non-CML age- and gender-matched controls. A dynamic [18F]-FDG PET scan during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was performed in a subgroup of 12 male patients with CML to assess m. quadriceps glucose uptake. We showed that patients with CML treated with nilotinib have an increased insulin response to intravenous glucose administration after muscle glycogen-depleted exercise. Despite the increased insulin response to glucose administration in patients with CML receiving nilotinib, glucose disappearance rates were significantly slower in nilotinib-treated patients when compared with controls in the first 15 min after glucose administration. Although [18F]-FDG uptake in m. quadriceps was not different, patients receiving nilotinib showed a trend toward decreased glucose infusion rates during euglycemic clamping when compared with patients receiving imatinib. Together, these findings indicate disturbed skeletal muscle glucose handling in patients with CML receiving nilotinib therapy.NEW & NOTEWORTHY In this study, we have shown that non-diabetic patients with CML receiving nilotinib therapy show early signs of disturbed skeletal muscle glucose handling, which was not observed in imatinib-treated patients. These observations in nilotinib users may reflect decreased muscle insulin sensitivity, which could serve as a potential target to counteract glycemic dysregulation, and is of clinical importance since these patients have an increased cardiovascular disease risk.