Imatinib resistance is an important hurdle in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and CML patients with this drug resistance are often given a dismal prognosis. In this case report, an imatinib-refractory blast phase CML patient was treated with a combination of imatinib and nilotinib. A complete hematologic response was achieved within 3 months, the drug combination was well tolerated, and there was a relatively long bone-marrow complete remission. These results suggest that combining imatinib and nilotinib treatment may improve the outcome of imatinib-resistant CML patients in the blast phase. We hypothesize regarding the possible mechanism for the effectiveness of the drug combination by reviewing the recent literature.

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