An increase in the occurrence of infections among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who were treated with dasatinib helped drive increased health care resource utilization (HRU) and health care costs, according to a recent study published in Advances in Therapy.1

Researchers used 2 large databases to find patients with newly diagnosed CML who initiated treatment with dasatinib or nilotinib as a first- or second-line therapy. Patients were classified as 1L (dasatinib 1L [1156 individuals]/nilotinib 1L [677 individuals]) or 2L (dasatinib 2L [322 individuals]/nilotinib 2L [207 individuals]) based on initiation of therapy.

Among patients treated with dasatinib in the first- or second-line setting, HRU costs were higher compared with those treated with nilotinib. The number of infection-related inpatient days was the reason for much of this increased utilization, accounting for a greater proportion of all inpatient days among patients treated with dasatinib compared with nilotinib.

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In addition, patients treated with dasatinib had higher all-cause total costs per patient per year. In the first-line, dasatinib resulted in an increase in cost of nearly $18,000 per patient per year compared with nilotinib (P = .004); one-third (33.8%) of the difference between treatments was infection-related. Similarly, second-line treatment with dasatinib resulted in $28,625 per patient per year higher health care costs compared with nilotinib.

“This study’s findings of higher infection-related HRU and direct healthcare costs associated with dasatinib are not surprising, as the notion that dasatinib may have a higher potential for immunosuppressive effects and therefore infectious complications compared [with] nilotinib has been previously proposed,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: The study was funded by a pharmaceutical company. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original study.


  1. Seiter K, Latremouille-Viau D, Guerin A, et al. Burden of infections among chronic myeloid leukemia patients receiving dasatinib or nilotinib: A real-world retrospective healthcare claims study in the United States. Adv Ther. 2018;35(10):1671-1685.