A retrospective analysis compared the clinical and molecular outcomes for tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) nilotinib and dasatinib as single agents in the first-line setting for patients in the chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).No significant differences were found between the treatments, suggesting both drugs have comparable outcomes. The study findings were published online September 7, 2018, in Medical Oncology.

“The new-generation TKIs, nilotinib and dasatinib, are found to have deeper and faster treatment response rates compared to imatinib in the first-line setting,” the study authors wrote. “However, a direct comparison between nilotinib and dasatinib has never been reported previously.”

The study authors searched the database of the CML Cooperative Study Group to identify patients with CML in the chronic phase who had received nilotinib or dasatinib in the first-line setting. A total of 58 patients who had received nilotinib (300 mg twice daily) and 63 patients who had received dasatinib (100 mg once daily) met the study criteria and were included in the analysis.

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Patient demographics, such as age, sex, Sokal score, Hasford score, and European Treatment and Outcome Study (EUTOS) score, did not differ significantly between treatment groups. Event-free survival did not differ significantly between treatment groups, either (P= .214). Major molecular response (MMR) and deep molecular response (DMR) rates at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months did not differ significantly between the treatment groups.

Researchers also analyzed the ability of the Sokal, Hasford, and EUTOS scoring systems to predict response and found that all failed to predict MMR to a statistically significant degree; only the Hasford score could predict the achievement of DMR for patients receiving dasatinib or nilotinib.

“In conclusion, our results confirm that there are no significant differences in the molecular responses rates and outcomes in patients treated with nilotinib versus dasatinib,” the study authors wrote.


  1. Iriyama N, Sugimoto K-J, Sato E, et al. Comparison of the clinical outcomes of nilotinib and dasatinib therapies in newly diagnosed patients in the chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia: a retrospective analysis[published online September 7, 2018]. Med Oncol. doi: 10.1007/s12032-018-1203-7