Hypopigmentation in an African patient treated with imatinib mesylate: A case report

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Imatinib mesylate (STI 571, Gleevec) is a potent bcr-abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It also inhibits c-kit tyrosine kinase. Imatinib mesylate is active in the treatment of cronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). It is considered by some authorities to be the standard of care in newly diagnosed CML as well as patients in chronic phase who do not have a related match. C-kit and its ligand stem-cell factor regulate melanocyte development and survival. Hypopigmentation in patients receiving imatinib mesylate for CML has been reported recently. In this article, we report a black Nigerian male with GIST, who developed hypopigmentation of distal parts of digits, as well as generalized lightening of skin on the body three months after receiving imatinib mesylate. We believe that this is the first case of hypopigmentation reported in a black patient with GIST.

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