Dasatinib and nilotinib are associated with similar response rates and survival outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP), a propensity score matching analysis published in the journal Cancer has shown.1

Both dasatinib and nilotinib are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as frontline therapy for CMP-CP based on findings from randomized trials compared with imatinib; however, no head-to-head trial has compared dasatinib with nilotinib in this patient population.

For the study, investigators analyzed data from 102 patients with CML-CP who received dasatinib and 104 who had nilotinib as part of 2 phase 2 trials conducted in parallel. A total of 87 patients from each trial were matched for pretreatment characteristics.

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Results showed that the 3-month BCR-ABL1/ABL1 ratio < 10% rate was 93% with dasatinib and 94% with nilotinib (P =.25).

In addition, the rates of major molecular response at 12 months were 77% and 85%, respectively (P =.13), and the rates of molecular response with 4.5-log reduction in the ratio at 36 months were 66% and 64%, respectively (P =.96).

Researchers also found that the 3-year overall survival probabilities were 99% for dasatinib-treated patients and 93% for nilotinib-treated patients (P =.95).

The study further demonstrated a similar treatment discontinuation rate between the 2 groups (P =.82).

The findings ultimately highlight that both nilotinib and dasatinib can be considered valid standard-of-care options for the first-line treatment of patients with CML-CP.


1. Takahashi K, Kantarjian HM, Yang Y, et al. A propensity score matching analysis of dasatinib and nilotinib as a frontline therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase. Cancer. 2016 Aug 10. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30197. [Epub ahead of print]