The p53 gene is also known as tumor suppressor p53. The main functions of the p53 gene are an anticancer effect and cellular genomic stability via various pathways including activation of DNA repair, induction of apoptosis, and arresting of cell growth at the G1/S phase. Normally, the p53 gene is inactivated by mouse double minute 2 proteins (mdm2), but it is activated in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are effective chemotherapeutic agents in the management of CML. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the differential effect of imatinib and nilotinib on p53 gene serum levels in patients with CML. A total number of 60 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia with ages ranging from 47 to 59 years were recruited from the Iraqi Hematology Center. They started with tyrosine kinase inhibitors as first-line chemotherapy. They were divided into two groups—Group A, 29 patients treated with imatinib and Group B, 31 patients treated with nilotinib—and compared with 28 healthy subjects for evaluation p53 serum levels regarding the selective effect of either imatinib or nilotinib. There were significantly (p
< 0.01) high p53 gene serum levels in patients with CML (2.135 ± 1.44 ng/mL) compared to the control (0.142 ± 0.11 ng/mL). Patients with CML that were treated with either imatinib or nilotinib showed insignificant differences in most of the hematological profile (p
> 0.05) whereas, p53 serum levels were high (3.22 ± 1.99 ng/mL) in nilotinib-treated patients and relatively low (1.18 ± 0.19 ng/mL) in imatinib-treated patients (p
= 0.0001). Conclusions: Nilotinib is more effective than imatinib in raising p53 serum levels in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
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