The Effects of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) in Monotherapy and with Add-on Treatments on Health-related Quality of Life of People with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: A Systematic Review of Randomized-Controlled Trials

Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health 05 Jan 2023 SYSTEMATIC REVIEW DOI: 10.2174/17450179-v17-e211118-2021-HT2-1910-12



The era of establishing tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) changed the outcome and the course of this life-threatening malignancy. People suffering from CML have now a better prognosis and a longer life expectancy due to the development of TKIs, even if it requires long-term, often lifelong, treatments that are nonetheless associated with improved Health-related Quality of life (HRQoL). However, data on the effects of TKIs on HRQoL are not always systematic; sometimes the data have been obtained by studies different from RCTs, or without a clear definition of what HRQoL is. The main purpose of this systematic review is to summarize all randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) including HRQoL as main or secondary outcome in patients with CML treated with TKIs or with TKIs plus an add-on treatment.


A systematic review has been conducted by searching the relevant papers in PubMed/Medline and Web of Science with the following keywords: “quality of life” OR “health-related quality of life” OR “QoL” OR “HRQoL” OR “H-QoL” AND “chronic myeloid leukemia”. Interval was set from January 2000 to December 2020.


40 papers were identified through the search. Out of them, 7 RCTs were included. All the studies used standardized measures to assess HRQoL, even not always specific for CML. 5 RCTs randomized subjects to 2 or 3 arms to evaluate the effects of TKIs of the first, second and third generation in monotherapy. 2 RCTs randomized subjects to TKI therapy plus an add-on treatment versus TKI therapy as usual. The results of all these trials were examined and discussed.


All the included RCTs pointed out significant findings regarding the positive effects of TKIs on HRQoL of people with CML, both when they were used in monotherapy or, notably, with an add-on treatment to enhance TKIs effects.

Keywords: Chronic myeloid leukemia, Hematology, Health related quality of life, Psycho-oncology, Psychosocial health, Systematic review.
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