More frequent qPCR testing and better adherence to kinase inhibitors reduce hospital visits among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a study published in conjunction with the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting has shown.1

Researchers estimated the overall impact of qPCR testing frequency on hospital visits, with respect to direct and indirect impacts, by analyzing data from 1431 patients with newly diagnosed CML included in 2 large U.S. claims databases. Adult patients were included in the analysis if they had continuous health plan coverage for at least 6 months before and at least 12 months after frontline kinase inhibitor (imatinib, nilotinib, or dasatinib) initiation.

Investigators estimated the direct and indirect effects of qPCR testing frequency through kinase inhibitor adherence on the number of inpatient days, inpatient admissions, and emergency room visits.

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During the 12-month period that patients were receiving a kinase inhibitor, 36% of patients had 0 qPCR tests, 16% had 1, 15% had 2, 18% had 3, and 16% had 4 tests. The average medication possession ratio, a measure of adherence, was 0.86.

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Researchers found that an increase of 1 qPCR test reduced the number of inpatient admission days by 15.2%.An increase of 1 qPCR test overall reduced the number of inpatient admissions by 14.2% and emergency room visits by 8.6%. The study demonstrated that indirect impact accounted for 14.5%, 18.4%, and 2.8% of the reduction, respectively.         


  1. Latremouille-Viau D, Guerin A, Gagnon-Sanschagrin P, Dea K, Cohen BG, Joseph GJ. Reduction in hospital visits in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with better adherence to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and increased molecular monitoring frequency. J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34 (suppl; abstr e18539).